DeVos pressed on performance of public schools under policies she promoted

Education Secretary Betsy DeVosElizabeth (Betsy) Dee DeVosOn The Money: Trump, in reversal, says he's not looking at tax cuts | Trump calls himself 'chosen one' to fight China on trade | CBO finds spending deal to add .7T to deficit Trump orders elimination of student loan debt for thousands of disabled veterans Trump aides pushed for states' ability to block migrant kids from enrolling in public schools: report MORE on Sunday seemed to struggle to explain why public schools in her home state of Michigan have performed poorly despite school choice policies she’s championed.

“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 an interview on CBS's “60 Minutes.”

“Now, has that happened in Michigan?” host Lesley Stahl asked. “Have the public schools in Michigan gotten better?”

ADVERTISEMENT

“I don’t know. Overall — I can’t say overall that they have all gotten better."

“The whole state is not doing well,” Stahl interjected.

DeVos, who has long been an advocate of promoting school choice initiatives, acknowledged public schools in Michigan need to do better.

She added that she has not "intentionally visited" underperforming institutions to learn why they are struggling.

DeVos, a Republican mega-donor, was a controversial pick to lead the Department of Education due to her support for charter schools and tuition vouchers that use public funds. She was barely approved as the nominee to lead the department, with Vice President Pence casting the tie-breaking vote in her favor.

The White House announced Sunday that DeVos will chair a federal commission on school safety. The panel will include local, federal and school officials, and will assess best practices for preventing future school shootings before making recommendations to the president.