Trump Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos completely fell apart during a recent pair of high-profile interviews, stumbling badly over education policy and school safety.
DeVos kicked off the new week by face-planting on “60 Minutes” — just a short time after she thoroughly bungled a visit to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. When interviewer Leslie Stahl pressed Devos to explain the poor performance of Michigan public schools after her charter school policies were enacted, DeVos first tried to pivot, then got completely caught.
“Michigan, yes, well, there’s lots of great options and choices for students here,” Devos said.
“Have the public schools in Michigan gotten better?” Stahl asked.
“I don’t know,” DeVos replied, and when asked if she had visited any of the troubled Michigan schools, said “I have not intentionally visited schools that are under-performing.”
“Maybe you should,” Stahl replied, and DeVos was forced to agree.
DeVos followed up that disaster by tripping over school safety policy during a “Today Show” interview Monday morning.
Anchor Savannah Guthrie asked DeVos why Trump’s school safety plan did not include raising the age limit to purchase assault weapons.
“Well, the plan is really the first step in a more lengthy process,” DeVos said, covering for the Trump administration’s total surrender to the NRA. “The proposals that the president has put forward really encompass a lot of things that are supported on a broad, bipartisan basis…”
“But Secretary DeVos, can I just jump in on that?” anchor Savannah Guthrie interrupted, pointing out Trump’s unambiguous statements in support of age limits. “So what happened, what changed?”
DeVos could only reply that “Everything is on the table,” and explicitly said that the subject needs to be changed from “guns and a gun issue” to something about “how violent acts are even occurring to start with.”
DeVos’ manifest ignorance about the basics of education policy has been clear all along, but these two interviews showcase the dangerous way in which she combines that ignorance with a policy agenda that prioritizes politics over the safety of children.