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What Does Betsy DeVos’ 60 Minutes Interview Tell Us About Her Ability to Lead?

Jake Neher/WDET

Chastity Pratt Dawsey during an appearance on Detroit Today with Stephen Henderson in November of 2016.

This week, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos was unable to account for Michigan’s poor education performance in an era of statewide school-choice policies pushed by DeVos and her cohorts. DeVos gave an odd interview with CBS news magazine “60 Minutes” to discuss her tenure thus far as the head of the Department of Education.

She has “not intentionally visited schools that are underperforming,” DeVos said.

See video below for an excerpt dealing specifically with Michigan schools.

Now, critics ask, how can we expect a wealthy school-choice advocate to represent the interests of all students — particularly those who rely on public education — when she hasn’t visited the schools that are most in need of assistance from Washington?

Bridge Magazine reporter Chastity Pratt Dawsey joins Detroit Today with Stephen Henderson to talk about the interview and what it says about DeVos’ ability to set policy for America’s public schools system.

You’re not going to solve the problem if you don’t acknowledge the problem,” says Pratt Dawsey. “(Michigan) is dead last on the nation’s report card…and this has all happened in the last 20 years as (school) choice has ramped up and proliferated, especially in the city of Detroit.”

There is a huge amount of (school) choice that’s being exercised in Detroit,” she continues. ”So, it’s not lifting that boat, it’s sinking that boat right now.”

Click on the audio player above to hear the full conversation.

Image credit: U.S. Department of Education

About the Author

Detroit Today

Dynamic and diverse voices. News, politics, community and the issues that define our region. Hosted by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Stephen Henderson, Detroit Today brings you fresh and perceptive views weekdays at 9 am and 7 pm.

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