Education Secretary Betsy DeVosElizabeth (Betsy) Dee DeVosHouse committee subpoenas Education Department staff over for-profit colleges DeVos says it isn't Department of Education's job to track schools' coronavirus reopening plans Judge calls Devos student loan forgiveness process 'disturbingly Kafkaesque' MORE struggled to answer basic questions about education policy and schools during a pointed interview that aired Sunday on CBS's "60 Minutes."

DeVos, a school-choice advocate who has pushed for policies that allow students to leave public schools and take public funding to charter or religious schools, specifically struggled to explain what happened to the schools and students left behind in response to a series of questions from "60 Minutes" correspondent Lesley Stahl.


“In places where there is a lot of choice that’s been introduced, Florida for example, the studies show that where 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,” DeVos said during the interview.

“Now, has that happened in Michigan?” Stahl responded. Michigan is DeVos's home state, and the Education secretary as a private citizen spent millions to back school-choice efforts in that state.

“Have the public schools in Michigan gotten better?” Stahl asked.

"I can't say overall that they have all gotten better," DeVos responded.

She later added: "I hesitate to talk about all schools in general because schools are made up of individual students attending them."

Stahl also recommended that DeVos visit schools that are underperforming, to which she responded, "Maybe I should. Yes."

During the interview, DeVos was also unable to answer a question about whether she was suggesting the number of false accusations of rape and sexual assault were as high as the number of actual rapes and sexual assaults.

"Well, one sexual assault is one too many and one falsely accused individual is one too many," DeVos said.

"But are they the same?" Stahl pressed.

"I don't know," DeVos responded.

At certain points during the interview, DeVos also seemed to contradict herself.

She was asked during the interview whether she believes teachers should have guns — a proposal put forth by President TrumpDonald John TrumpMore than 300 military family members endorse Biden Five takeaways from the final Trump-Biden debate Biden: 'I would transition from the oil industry' MORE after last month's mass shooting at a Florida high school.

"That should be an option for states and communities to consider. And I hesitate to think of, like, my first-grade teacher, Mrs. Zorhoff, I couldn't ever imagine her having a gun and being trained in that way," she said.

"But for those who are — who are capable this is one solution that can and should be considered. But no one size fits all."

She noted she is also "not so sure exactly" how she become the "most hated" member of the president's Cabinet — as Stahl described her. She said she believes she is "more misunderstood than anything."

Democrats and several journalists commented on the interview, writing of DeVos's difficulty in answering questions.  

DeVos faced fierce opposition in her confirmation process, with senators in both parties criticizing her lack of experience with public and rural education.

During her confirmation hearing, she at one point cited grizzly bear attacks as part of her reasoning for allowing states to determine their own gun policies in schools.

She said Wyoming schools may need guns to "protect from potential grizzlies."

She was confirmed, despite two GOP senators voting against her nomination. Vice President Pence cast the tie-breaking vote for her confirmation.