The commentariat is feasting on Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’s 60 Minutes interview with Lesley Stahl, calling it brutal, botched, and an example of why we shouldn’t elevate inexperienced billionaires to positions of public trust. And those are the kinder depictions.
Like everyone in education reform, I wish she had made a stronger defense of charter schools, showed more knowledge of how things are going in her home state of Michigan, and made it clear that, although student achievement rose dramatically in the late 1990s and early 2000s, it has been mostly stagnant since then.
But more than anything, I regret that she gave such lackluster answers to Stahl’s questions about school discipline. We’re about to have a big national debate about the Obama-era school discipline policy, and it’s essential that she and other administration officials be capable of explaining the issues at hand.
Let’s play Monday morning quarterback and suggest some better ways the secretary could have better handled Stahl’s (loaded) questions.
STAHL: So you've been on the job now over a year. What have you done that you're most proud of?
DEVOS: We've begun looking at and rolling back a lot of the overreach of the federal government...