White House officials watched in horror as Trump’s unqualified Secretary of Education went on to CBS’ 60 Minutes to deliver a uniquely awful interview. (video embedded below)
Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos could barely discuss “education” during her Senate confirmation hearings and proved once again she as totally unqualified for the job by withering under Leslie Stahl’s perfectly reasonable questioning.
White House officials watched the interview, along with media appearances DeVos made on Monday morning, with dismay, two sources familiar with their reaction told CNN.
The White House did not respond to a request for an official comment regarding DeVos’ performances, and it wasn’t immediately clear what President Donald Trump’s reaction was.
During the interview, DeVos held up Florida – ranked 40th out of 50 states in education nationally by US News – as a model for American schools to implement privatization schemes.
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But Leslie Stahl came armed with the appalling results from her own program, demanding answers for the poor performance of Michigan schools after they implemented DeVos’ radical “school choice” policies of defunding public schooling and giving the cash to private charter schools instead.
That’s when Trump’s Education Secretary admitted something awful:
STAHL: Now, has that happened in Michigan? We’re in Michigan. This is your home state.
DEVOS: Yes, well, there’s lots of great options and choices for students here.
STAHL: Have the public schools in Michigan gotten better?
DEVOS: I don’t know. Overall, I, I can’t say overall that they have all gotten better.
STAHL: The whole state is not doing well.
DEVOS: Well, there are certainly lots of pockets where this, the students are doing well and …
STAHL: No, but 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 here.
DEVOS: I hesitate to talk about all schools in general because schools are made up of individual students attending them.
STAHL: The public schools here are doing worse than they did.
DEVOS: Michigan schools need to do better. There is no doubt about it.
STAHL: Have you seen the really bad schools? Maybe try to figure out what they’re doing?
DEVOS: I have not, I have not, I have not intentionally visited schools that are underperforming.
Plainly, the Education Secretary has learned virtually nothing in over a year on the job, since it’s probably pretty difficult to understand failing schools if you avoid visiting them at all costs.
Furthermore, Betsy DeVos had plenty of reason to avoid giving a straight answer about Michigan because of her activism for privatizing public school dollars in her home state which has been called a failed gamble.
The Detroit Free Press characterizes Michigan schools after implementing Devos as “a pariah among reputable charter school operators, who have not opened schools in Detroit because of the Wild West nature of the educational landscape here.”
The only reason Donald Trump hired Betsy DeVos as the US Secretary of Education had to be her massive donations to his presidential campaign or her brother Erik Prince’s (oops not so great either) spy skills as a communications back channel to Russia.
Watch Trump’s Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos wither under questioning:
Sec. of Education Betsy DeVos struggles to answer fairly basic questions on school performance on 60 Minutes pic.twitter.com/lFVq3USwUW
— Axios (@axios) March 12, 2018