Education Secretary Betsy DeVos struggled to answer questions regarding school choice on Sunday night, her signature policy and admitted she had not “intentionally” toured “underperforming” schools during her tenure.
“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,” DeVos told CBS’ “60 Minutes” during an episode that aired Sunday.
But DeVos could not explain why public schools in her home state of Michigan had not improved when funding had been diverted elsewhere.
“I don’t know. Overall, I can’t say overall that they have all gotten better,” she said. “I hesitate to talk about all schools in general because schools are made up of individual students attending them.”
DeVos added she had “not intentionally visited schools that are underperforming.”
School choice is the term for allowing parents to send their children to schools other than the public school district in which they live. This can take the form of parents choosing to send their children to a different public school district, a private school, or a charter school.
A 2017 analysis of results from the National Assessment of Education Progress showed Michigan students had continually made the least improvement since 2003, according to local media.
The White House also announced Sunday DeVos would be overseeing the Federal Commission on School Safety, convened in response to the school shooting in Parkland, Fla., in February.
Arming teachers was an option for states and communications “to consider,” she said.
Twitter had a field day:
Watch how IMMEDIATELY disgusted Leslie Stahl is with this blissful moron. And watch how aggressively ignorant Betsey DeVos is. How the FUCK is she Sec. of Education? https://t.co/Q9p9bH646R
— Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) March 12, 2018
Unqualified. Every day she & this administration are in charge of kids' lives is doing damage to our most vulnerable people. Excellent public education is what will make our country great. Get out, #BetsyDeVos. #failed #Education https://t.co/ylPlkSCHan
— Jess Phoenix (@jessphoenix2018) March 12, 2018
Betsy DeVos can't answer questions about improving the educational system because her goal is to raze it to the ground. She's a saboteur. https://t.co/V9Ebu3xe4M
— Jared Yates Sexton (@JYSexton) March 12, 2018
Stop what you're doing & watch this astonishing level of ignorance from a cabinet secretary. As a Mom with four kids, I don't want DeVos any place near their education. Or anyone else's kids' education for that matter. https://t.co/XFH8sxRxks
— Joyce Alene (@JoyceWhiteVance) March 12, 2018
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