Trump's education secretary struggles to answer basic questions on schools

Education Secretary DeVos gives cringeworthy interview to '60 Minutes'

DeVos expounded during a March 12 appearance on Today, saying in reference to guns that "schools should have this tool", while noting that "we have to get much broader than talking about guns".

DeVos: Michigan schools need to do better, there is no doubt about it.

For 11 states in the region with annual test data from 2014-16, MI shows the biggest drop in third-grade English language arts skills. Test results from the NAEP, known as the Nation's Report Card, offer the most reliable, cross-state comparisons of academic achievement. Nobody mentioned the charts she cited in her tweet, comparing MI standardized test scores to national averages.

On the most recent NAEPs, from 2015, MI fourth-graders tied for 43rd in the nation in reading and 42nd in math; eighth-graders fared better - 39th in math and 20th in reading. Thirty-five percent of the charter schools have significantly more positive learning gains than their TPS counterparts in reading, while two percent of charter schools have significantly lower learning gains. MI third-graders went from 50% proficiency to 44.1% over that time.

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According to The Detroit News, "Michigan has fared poorly in several educational measures in recent years".

DeVos told "60 Minutes" that states with a greater school of choice options for families showed academic improvement. But DeVos couldn't articulate whether public schools in MI have fared well under her policies. The safety commission will include teachers and other experts.

"I can't say overall they've all gotten better", DeVos said. And, of course, her support for school choice, as pursued through vouchers and charters.

DeVos also said that states should have the "option" of allowing teachers to carry guns but admitted she had trouble picturing her first grade teacher carrying a weapon.

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U.S. President Donald Trump's administration will step up aid to States that want to arm school employees under a plan to increase campus safety after the killing of 17 people in Florida, officials said on Sunday.

White students: 58 percent proficient in 2014-15 to 52 percent a year ago.

DeVos published a few tweets saying "60 Minutes" had failed to include information about schools in MI, the secretary's home state, that she had provided. When asked if she has visited the "really bad schools" she frequently criticizes, DeVos answers that she has not. The New York Times article mentioned Devos as a proponent of deregulation in education. "Our students need more books, art and music programs, nurses and school counselors; they do not need more guns in their classrooms". DeVos said she has "not intentionally visited schools that are underperforming" but acknowledged that maybe she should.

The administration will start working with states to provide "rigorous firearms training" to teachers and other school personnel who volunteer to be armed, said Andrew Bremberg, director of the White House Domestic Policy Council.

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DeVos responded: "They want a variety of things".

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