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Betsy DeVos Fumbles Through Questions On School Safety, Campus Sexual Assault, And Inequality

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos was on 60 Minutes Sunday and it was 😬😬😬.

Posted on March 12, 2018, at 1:10 a.m. ET

Betsy DeVos, President Trump's polarizing education secretary, gave a cringe-worthy interview Sunday on 60 Minutes, in which she fumbled through questions about school safety, sexual assault on campus, inequality, and school choice, the agenda she has fastened her reputation and expertise upon.

Betsy DeVos on guns, school choice and why people don't like her. The secretary of education has been one of the most criticized members of President Trump's Cabinet, but DeVos says she's "more misunderstood than anything." https://t.co/t5Ffq8mC4B

Earlier Sunday, DeVos announced that she would be the chair of Trump's fledgling federal commission on school safety. However, details as to how the commission will function and produce tangible systemic change remain elusive.

In the painful, 13-minute 60 Minutes interview, Lesley Stahl probed DeVos about guns in schools, which she believes is a state choice, test scores in the US, how public schools in her own state of Michigan have fared under her leadership, sexual assault on campus, and discrimination.

The education secretary stumbled through basically the entire thing and people watching were shocked and more than slightly concerned.

Just watched the whole @60Minutes piece on Betsy DeVos. Pretty rough. @LesleyRStahl seemed to know more about the nation’s public schools than the education secretary.

The crazy thing was that Leslie Stahl wasn't pressing Betsy Devos and she couldn't answer a simple question. #60minutes

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"Betsy DeVos” on 60 minutes ....................................................................................................................................................................that is all I got....................

Here are some of the most 😬 moments from the interview, which had a lot of this from Stahl:

CBS

Stahl asked DeVos whether school choice is working in her home state of Michigan and if public schools have gotten better. "I don't know," DeVos responded.

Betsy DeVos struggles to provide answers to '60 Minutes' when asked for evidence to support school choice policies. https://t.co/yG3POYJre6 https://t.co/la8rsxqKYW

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.

Shortly after, Stahl asked DeVos if she has visited "the really bad schools. Maybe try to figure out what they're doing?" To which the education secretary replied:

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Later, on the question of campus assault, Stahl asked DeVos if she thinks the number of false accusations is the same as actual rapes and assaults. DeVos said she didn't know that either.

"Are you…suggesting that the number of false accusations are as high as the number of actual rapes or assaults?" Lesley Stahl asks Secretary DeVos about her controversial changes to Title IX guidelines on campus sexual assault. https://t.co/enegEWhKBy

Then, DeVos, who has been pegged by education activists as an elitist whose policies hurt students from marginalized groups, wouldn't say whether there is institutional racism in US schools, instead answering, "We're studying it carefully."

Will Secretary DeVos scrap Obama-era "guidance on how to identify, avoid, and remedy discriminatory discipline"? "We're studying it carefully," the secretary tells 60 Minutes. https://t.co/RiQKyenMQB

To which the internet replied:

Watching @60Minutes and the way Leslie Stahl was looking at Betsy DeVos during her interview & Betsy's response to the question of institutional racism.... https://t.co/QGER41Skxd

When Stahl asked DeVos why she thinks she has "become, people say, the most hated cabinet secretary," DeVos surmised: "I'm more misunderstood than anything."

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