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DeVos Fires Back at '60 Minutes' After Interview Criticism

13 March 2018
DeVos Fires Back at '60 Minutes' After Interview Criticism

Her performance got panned in multiple media outlets. "It wasn't just that interview last night, it was also her two interviews this morning where she couldn't even defend the administration's proposals on school safety".

DeVos tweeted Monday afternoon: "Here's what we shared with @60Minutes, which of course they didn't show you: MI, like much of the nation, isn't doing well enough to prepare students".

"Have the public schools in MI gotten better?"

Asked if she thought that action suggested that false accusations of rape were as common as actual attacks, DeVos said: "I don't know, I don't know".

But what DeVos didn't mention is that the Michigan Radio article she linked to is headlined, "Test scores at Detroit charter schools twice as high as city's public schools, but both are bad". She mostly avoided talking to students, especially those who were calling for stricter gun control laws.

DeVos didn't get into specifics when pressed, though.

"We are studying that rule. And - often comes down to - I am committed to making sure that students have the opportunity to learn in an environment that is conducive to their learning". "And all students means all students".

"I had never watched "60 Minutes" before, but I can tell you this, I will never watch it again", the Education Secretary said.

DEVOS: Well, we should be funding and investing in students, not in school, school buildings, not in institutions, not in systems.

DeVos said: "Michigan schools need to do better".

Stahl also recommended that the education secretary visit schools that are underperforming, to which she responded, "Maybe I should".

Lesley Stahl: No, but your argument that if you take funds away that the schools will get better, is not working in MI where you had a huge impact and influence over the direction of the school system here.

STAHL: Now, has that happened in MI? "Well, there are certainly pockets where ... students are doing well", DeVos said.

Unfortunately for DeVos, the same data suggests that charter schools in MI are doing worse over time. "I have not. I have not intentionally visited schools that are underperforming". Part of the proposal includes a task force to examine ways to prevent future mass shootings, headed by DeVos.

During her confirmation hearing previous year, DeVos memorably supported the idea of arming teachers - perhaps against grizzly bears, she joked.

"The point is that schools should have this tool, if they choose to use the tool, community should have the tool, states should have the tool, but nobody should be mandated to do it."

She did say she doesn't think school personnel should have assault weapons, but it's an issue that is "best decided at the local level", leaving the door open ever so slightly.

In an interview Monday, Devos depicted the plan to be widely bipartisan and the "first step in a more lengthy process". Her recent press tour isn't helping.