Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has not had a good week.
Last Wednesday, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students in Parkland, FL, called her out during a visit to the school. On Sunday, she had a horrible interview on 60 Minutes, during which she struggled mightily to answer even the most basic questions about her philosophy and record on education. And on Monday morning, she told the Today show’s Savannah Guthrie that she thought the question of whether or not teachers should carry assault weapons “is an issue that is best decided at the local level by communities and by states.”
Evidently, DeVos is having such a hard time on her current press tour that it’s concerning even the famously incompetent Trump White House. Two sources told CNN on Monday night that the White House was “alarmed” at DeVos’ inability to “answer basic questions about the nation’s schools” and her “failure to defend the administration’s newly proposed school safety measures.”
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders tried to avoid talking about the issue, and said she wasn’t sure Trump even watched:
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders declined to weigh in on DeVos’ performance, saying school safety and other policies are the “focus of the President — not one or two interviews, but actual policy.”
Asked whether Trump tuned in to “60 Minutes,” Sanders said, “I’m not sure if he saw the whole thing or not.”
While it’s certainly plausible that the White House is mad that DeVos is making it look even worse than it already does, one other theory is that DeVos’ decision to lightly criticize Trump for swearing made our famously soft president and his handlers angry:
Guthrie pressed DeVos on the President’s remarks during an interview Monday, asking, “I wonder, as the education secretary, who’s in charge of what our kids learn, what do you think of that kind of language? Would you wash someone’s mouth out with soap?”
DeVos replied, “I would probably use different language myself,” before calling on adults to serve as good examples.
“That would include the President as well,” she added.
Either way, it’s clear that the nation’s public schools deserve better leaders than either Trump or his bad Secretary of Education.