To bring tonight full circle: Trump has largely punted changes to gun laws to a commission, which will be chaired by Betsy DeVos (arguably the most polarizing Cabinet secretary), who struggled mightily to answer Lesley Stahl’s questions on education policy.
— Philip Rucker (@PhilipRucker) March 12, 2018
Thanks to this cabinet for all the regular reminders that being rich doesn’t mean you’re smart or worthy in any way. https://t.co/dtbj4B98oZ
— laura olin (@lauraolin) March 12, 2018
Just a few hours earlier…
Betsy DeVos struggling hard on 60 Minutes pic.twitter.com/2iI52WR79u
— Bubba Atkinson (@BubbaAtkinson) March 11, 2018
… DeVos, who rarely gives interviews to journalists, is a longtime school choice advocate who once said that traditional public education is “a dead end” and who has made clear that her top priority as the nation’s education chief is expanding alternatives to traditional public schools. A champion of using public funds for private and religious school education, critics say she is determined to privatize public education. She has denied it…
More than a year after becoming education secretary, DeVos again had trouble answering questions put to her by Stahl and seemed to contradict herself. For example, the two had this conversation about what happens to underperforming traditional public schools when children leave for alternatives and take funding with them:
STAHL: Why take away money from that school that’s not working — to bring them up to a level where they are, that school is working?
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.
STAHL: Now, has that happened in Michigan? We’re in Michigan. This is your home state.
DEVOS: Yes, well, there’s lots of great options and choices for students here.
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: 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.
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…
DeVos is a billionaire fundamentalist fronting for fellow billionaires who want to make sure that ‘the peasants’ aren’t given enough education to let them escape the fundamentalists’ capitalist baronies. Real education should only be available to those who can pay for it!
Unfortunately, while her parents could certain afford to give Betsy the best education, the soft cocoon of Rich White Mediocrity ensured that she’s never actually have to learn more than an accepted scripture of catchphrases and mantras to “succeed.” Much like her crony Donald Trump… who got shipped off to a private military school when NYC public schools “couldn’t handle” his refusal to meet minimal behavioral standards, like ‘do not physically attack teachers who won’t let you do just what you feel like, when you feel like it.’
That’s our best hope, at the moment — powerful as these people are, they’ve got Death Star-class liabilities due to their blinkered insularity. They’re mean and ruthless, but also lazy, pampered, and not trained to persist rather than walk away from the messes they make.
I’ve been bashing heads w the DeVos family’s Taliban-for-hire since 1998. In particular, I helped run the campaign against the 2004 same sex marriage ban in MI, funded by the DeVos family & Tom “Domino’s” Monaghan. To have her so devastatingly exposed makes me very happy
— Dana Houle (@DanaHoule) March 12, 2018