Betsy DeVos discusses guns, school choice in '60 Minutes' interview

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DeVos conceded that she has never "intentionally visited" underperforming schools in her home state of MI, where she spent decades promoting school privatization. "She wants to make a private christian educational system... she is bad [and] her interview was striking and telling on so many levels".

White House officials were alarmed by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos' struggle to answer basic questions about the nation's schools and failure to defend the administration's newly proposed school safety measures during a tour of television interviews Sunday and Monday, according to two sources familiar with their reaction.

DeVos has earned praise from conservatives over her school choice agenda, which advocates the expansion of private, parochial and charter schools and a reduction in funds to public schools.

"I have not, I have not, I have not intentionally visited schools that are underperforming", DeVos said".

"You never attended a K-12 school, did you?" Maybe try to figure out what they're doing? CBS News correspondent Lesley Stahl asked. Yet, another DeVos scheme to advance her costly and ineffective "school choice" agenda.

An incredulous Stahl replied, "Maybe you should" and DeVos parroted back tepid, confused agreement.

DeVos: Maybe I should. Yes.

With DeVos struggling to offer sound evidence for how her decisions have improved student performance, critics deemed the interview yet more evidence the MI native is unqualified for her job. The White House did not respond to a request for an official comment regarding DeVos' performances, and it wasn't immediately clear what President Donald Trump's reaction was.

The secretary said allowing teachers to have guns in schools "should be an option for states and communities to consider", later reconciling that she "couldn't ever imagine" her own first-grade teacher brandishing a weapon in the classroom.

When "Today" show host Savannah Guthrie asked her several questions about what arming teachers would look like, DeVos had few answers.

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The White House also directed the Justice Department to support states to partner with local law enforcement to provide "rigorous firearms training to specifically qualified volunteer school personnel", said Andrew Bremberg, director of the president's Domestic Policy Council. "It is not going to be appropriate in every location, but it is going to be appropriate in some places".

DeVos told "60 Minutes" that states with a greater school of choice options for families showed academic improvement.

"Well, there are certainly pockets where this - the students are doing well", DeVos said.

"Overall, ... I can't say overall that they have all gotten better", DeVos said. When Stahl presented her with evidence to the contrary, DeVos shrugged it off.

"I'm fighting every day for every student, in every school - public and private - to have a world-class education".

When the Education Department reported on the issue in 2010, it similarly said that "no consensus has been reached on whether competition from charter schools has a positive impact on the academic achievement of students remaining in traditional public schools". Listen to her for five minutes and you will no longer be able to complete the New York Times crossword puzzle.

However others were less than impressed with Stahl's interview style.

BuzzFeed editor-in-chief Ben Smith argued that the billionaire GOP benefactor was appointed for her connections to the party and her financial support of Trump rather than for her education chops.

DEVOS: They want a variety of things.