Betsy DeVos Interview 🍎

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An educational interview

Betsy DeVos, the Secretary of Education, was interviewed on 60 Minutes, and the video has gone viral. Some are calling the interview a ‘disaster’, while others believe it was filled with slanted questions and selective edits. [WATCH A CLIP]

What did DeVos say?

During the interview, DeVos could not articulate why her educational reforms, namely her plan to take funding from public schools and put it into private and charter schools, would help students in struggling schools. DeVos also stated that she had never “intentionally visited” schools that are underperforming. When asked about the performance of schools in her home state of Michigan, she said, “I can’t say overall that they have gotten better.”

The right focus on DeVos’s claims that 60 Minutes engaged in “selective editing” of the interview footage, and ignored test data she provided. They also say that her shaky answers don’t necessarily suggest ignorance on the educational system, just that she is not used to addressing slanted ‘premises’ in leading questions like the ones asked on 60 Minutes.

The left focus on DeVos's inability to defend her school reforms, and the work that she has done in Michigan. They say that she struggled with “straightforward pushback” about her policies, and criticize her for never visiting underperforming schools. Lastly, the left insinuates that the reason DeVos has this position is not because of her expertise but because of her wealth and family connections.

Too quick to judge?

60 Minutes certainly asked DeVos some slanted questions, but it is just as much her fault for not pushing back on them (as Breitbart suggests). As Secretary of Education, her job is to know the educational system inside-out. Slanted questions should have been a piece of cake for DeVos to pick apart if she was more prepared. However, to be fair to Betsy, judging her based on a single interview is not appropriate. We will have to wait and see how school performance changes over her tenure, before judging her performance.

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