60 Minutes‘ Lesley Stahl has a lot of questions.
But does Education Secretary Betsy DeVos have the answers?
Stahl interviewed DeVos on Sunday night, challenging her on a number of topics and leading to critiques of DeVos’ knowledge of the U.S. education landscape.
On helping students who attend schools that aren’t doing well
DeVos: “Well, we should be funding and investing in students, not in school– school buildings, not in institutions, not in systems.”
Stahl: “Okay. But what about the kids who are back at the school that’s not working? What about those kids?”
DeVos: “Well, in places where there have been- where there is- a lot of choice that’s been introduced- Florida, for example, the- studies show that when there’s a large number of students that opt to go to a different school or different schools, the traditional public schools actually- the results get better, as well.”
On schools in Michigan
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.”
On visiting schools that aren’t doing well
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.”
Stahl: “Maybe you should.”
DeVos: “Maybe I should. Yes.”
On allowing colleges to require more evidence from sexual assault accusers
Stahl: “Are you in any way, do you think, suggesting that the number of false accusations are as high as the number of actual rapes or assaults?”
DeVos: “Well, one sexual assault is one too many, and one falsely accused individual is one too many.”
Stahl: “Yeah, but are they the same?”
DeVos: “I don’t know. I don’t know. But I’m committed to a process that’s fair for everyone involved.”
The interview led to some criticism about DeVos’ performance, with many asserting that DeVos struggled to answer the most basic of questions.
What does DeVos think of all the critiques she’s receiving? Turns out she may have provided the answer to that.
On her own status as Cabinet secretary
Stahl: “Why have you become, people say, the most hated Cabinet secretary?”
DeVos: “I’m not so sure exactly how that happened. But I think there are a lot of really powerful forces allied against change.”
Stahl: “Does it hurt?”
DeVos: “Sometimes it does. Sometimes it does. Again, I think- I think-“
Stahl: “Do you ever say-“
DeVos: “I’m more misunderstood than anything.”