DeVos' 60 Minutes Interview Is Not Going Over Well

Critics pile on education secretary, and she says her views are misunderstood
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 12, 2018 2:47 PM CDT
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.   (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

(Newser) – Education secretary Betsy DeVos appeared on 60 Minutes Sunday night, and she's taking much criticism Monday over her answers to questions from Leslie Stahl. In the intro—you can read the interview and see the video via this CBS News link—Stahl notes that DeVos "is dedicated to promoting school choice, but her critics say she really wants to privatize the public school system that she once called, quote, 'a dead end.'" Asked about being the "most hated Cabinet secretary," DeVos said she is "misunderstood more than anything." Highlights and samples of criticism:

  • Campus assault: The Washington Post has a video highlighting four areas where DeVos appeared to struggle with her answers, including on campus sexual assault. "She couldn’t say whether the number of false accusations of sexual assault on school campuses is lower than the number of actual rapes or assaults," writes Valerie Strauss.
  • School choice: Lots of critics, including Margaret Hartmann at New York, are focusing on a part of the interview about school choice during which DeVos acknowledged she didn't know whether schools in her home state of Michigan were doing better. Stahl told her they weren't. "Your argument that if you take funds away that the schools will get better, is not working in Michigan where you had a huge impact and influence over the direction of the school system." DeVos responded: "I hesitate to talk about all schools in general because schools are made up of individual students attending them."

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