DeVos’ reputation struggles



U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy Devos speaks during a news conference at the Marriot Heron Bay in Coral Springs, Fla., after meeting with students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland on Wednesday, March 7, 2018. (Amy Beth Bennett/Sun Sentinel/TNS)

Zila Sanchez

Betsy DeVos’ “60 Minutes” interview on March 11 was supposed to patch up her bad reputation. Instead, many critics say the Secretary of Education proved her ignorance on the nation’s educational needs.


During DeVos’ interview with Lesley Stahl, she discussed her plans for school safety, public image and for more “school choice” for school systems she once called a “dead end,” according to CBS News.


After the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, DeVos has been working on an initiative to improve school safety. President Donald Trump is going to appoint her as head of a new commission on school safety charged with developing policies to prevent school violence, as cited on CBS News.


Many consider DeVos’ plans for school safety to lack a real sense of urgency in a period of unrest, especially after the school shooting at St. Mary County High School in Maryland yesterday.


Portion of “60 Minutes” interview on DeVos and her gun control comments.

DeVos: “I give a lot of credit to the students there for really raising their voices, and I think that they are not going to let this moment go by.”

Stahl: “They want gun control.”

DeVos: “They want a variety of things. They want solutions.”

Stahl: “Do you think that teachers should have guns in the classroom?”

DeVos: “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. But for those who are– who are capable, this is one solution that can and should be considered. But no one size fits all. Every state and every community is going to address this issue in a different way.”

DeVos visited the high school in Florida last week and faced verbal and online criticism.

“Do something unexpected: answer our questions. You came to our school just for publicity and avoided our questions for the 90 minutes you were actually here. How about you actually do your job?” @Aly_Sheehy tweeted.

She has been criticized by many for not doing her research, especially as the nation’s Chief of Education. She admitted she did not know how well schools from her own home state of Michigan were performing and that she has not visited any of the underperforming schools.

“She knows exactly what she’s doing by dismantling public school systems,” said Raina Lenear, sophomore civil engineering student.


“She thinks they’re dead ends. She’s extremely wealthy and hasn’t had any experience (with education) outside of private and religious schools. Money isn’t a problem for her (but) it is for most people. Public schools help cater to low income communities (but I think she sees) educating children for free and supporting them as some type of handout.”


As DeVos recovers from another blow to her reputation, many look on to see if she will deliver on her promise to bring change to the education system.