Education

Lesley Stahl confronts Betsy DeVos on why schools are performing worse under her policies

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos had a rough go with Lesley Stahl of 60 Minutes when she was confronted over the fact that schools in her home state of Michigan have performed worse under policies she’s championed.

“In places where there is a lot of choice that’s been introduced, Florida for example, the studies show that where 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 Stahl.

Stahl then asked if DeVos’s example applied to her home state. “Have the public schools in Michigan gotten better?”

“I don’t know, overall, I can’t say overall that they have all gotten better,” Devos replied, before Stahl reminded her that school across the state are faltering.

DeVos then tried to claim that there are individual “pockets” in Michigan that are “doing well,” but Stahl still wasn’t buying it.

“But your argument, that if you take funds away the schools will get better, is not working in Michigan where you had a huge impact and influence over the school system here,” Stahl declared.

DeVos tried to pivot to how “individual” students are performing instead of focusing on the districts as a whole, suggesting that district performance is somehow unrelated to how students themselves perform. “Schools are made up of individual students attending them,” she said before conceding that schools in Michigan “need to do better.”

“Have you seen the really bad schools?” Stahl asked. “Maybe try to find to figure out what they’re doing?”

DeVos stuttered before replying, “I have not intentionally visited schools that are underperforming.”

“Maybe you should,” Stahl told her.

Watch the exchange in the video below, via Axios:

Featured image via screen grab

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