DeVos: I get ‘a solid B+ to an A-' in my first year as education secretary

DeVos: I get ‘a solid B+ to an A-' in my first year as education secretary

Education Secretary Betsy DeVosElizabeth (Betsy) Dee DeVosDon’t worry (too much) about Kavanaugh changing the Supreme Court Overnight Defense: Fallout from tense NATO summit | Senators push to block ZTE deal in defense bill | Blackwater founder makes new pitch for mercenaries to run Afghan war Blackwater founder makes new pitch for mercenaries to take over Afghan war MORE says she deserves a "solid B+ to an A-" for her performance in her first year in office.

Despite the high grade, DeVos acknowledged in an interview with The Detroit News that "there’s room for improvement."

She said she will focus in the coming year on cutting through federal regulations and giving more power to the states to determine how schools are run. 

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"There were a lot of things we needed to tackle to roll back the overreach of this department," DeVos said. "We want to make sure where we end up is well thought-out and right for the parties involved and right for taxpayers."

DeVos, a businesswoman and philanthropist, has drawn criticism from many teachers and activists for her ardent support of private and charter schools, as well as for her lack of experience in public schools. 

She told The Detroit News that she plans on stepping up her push for school choice in the coming year, and said she is working on a plan to restructure the Education Department to make it leaner and more efficient. President TrumpDonald John TrumpIran claims it rejected Trump meeting requests 8 times ESPY host jokes Putin was as happy after Trump summit as Ovechkin winning Stanley Cup Russian ambassador: Trump made ‘verbal agreements’ with Putin MORE is on board with that plan, she said.

“Part of the president’s directive is a top-down review of every federal agency,” DeVos said. “We are in that process now."

"As you can imagine, it is a much more lengthy and cumbersome process than I may like to see," she said. "But we have made some good progress in that area, and we are working on a reorganization plan that will actually make some of the operations in the department much more open and much more aligned with the goal of empowering local teachers and schools to do their thing better."

One of DeVos's more controversial regulatory rollbacks as education secretary was her decision to rescind Obama-era Title IX guidance for investigating sexual assault on college campuses. 

Critics have said the interim guidance issued in place of the previous policy discourages victims from reporting sexual assault. But DeVos told The Detroit News that her aim is to create a fair process.

"We need to make sure the process and the framework is right and fair for all those involved. And one that’s going to promote transparency around the process itself," she said. "This is something that I take very seriously."