Education

‘Megyn Kelly’ Show Features First Network Interview With Betsy DeVos

By Mark Walsh — July 10, 2017 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

“The first network TV news interview with U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.”

Every TV news network and show has probably been hankering to make that boast, given the controversy surrounding DeVos. The winner of the contest for a sit-down with the secretary is ... “Sunday Night With Megyn Kelly,” the NBC News magazine show starring the former Fox News Channel anchor.

NBC hyped the interview a bit, and noted in promotional materials that it would come in the context of a visit to Boys Latin of Philadelphia Charter School and in a story about the national debate over charter schools.

In the end, the roughly 10-minute segment by correspondent Craig Melvin was a decent rehash of the debate over whether charter schools skim the best students from traditional public schools. But the interview with DeVos was largely a disappointment because the segment used only a few of her comments.

“Critics have said that [charter school] successes have come at the expense of neighborhood schools,” Melvin says to DeVos in their interview at Boys Latin. “Are you OK with that?”

DeVos says, “Actually, I think schools like this are really great examples of schools that are meeting the needs of kids that haven’t fit in elsewhere.”

“Instead of talking about schools and school buildings, we should be talking about funding students and investing in individual students,” the secretary adds.

And that was pretty much it for the exclusive interview with the media-shy DeVos. I wasn’t expecting an entire hour with the secretary, but getting something that went beyond her talking points would have been nice.

The rest of Melvin’s segment was a bit of a delicate dance in which he sought to portray Boys Latin as the demanding, successful school for inner-city students that it is while also delving into the charters versus neighborhood public schools debate.

And while the story was largely positive for Boys Latin, Melvin did note that the school has no English-language learners and he pressed founder and recently retired CEO David P. Hardy about the fairness of the school’s former admissions policy, which involved interviews with parents. (The school now admits students by lottery.)

Perhaps the keenest observation about the charter school debate in the segment came from Philadelphia City Council member Helen Gym, an education activist and former charter school advocate who “is now on the other side of the fight,” Melvin says.

“We’ve created two enormous warring systems that are cannibalizing one another,” Gym says.

The charter schools segment was not the only education story on Kelly’s ratings-challenged show on Sunday.

Kelly herself was the reporter for a segment about a study showing that while girls have a strong perception of their intellect and abilities at a young age, that confidence erodes as they get just a little older, when many view boys and men as smarter.

So, “Sunday Night With Megyn Kelly” is a high profile place for education stories. At least while it’s still around.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Education and the Media blog.

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Data Webinar
Education Insights with Actionable Data to Create More Personalized Engagement
The world has changed during this time of pandemic learning, and there is a new challenge faced in education regarding how we effectively utilize the data now available to educators and leaders. In this session
Content provided by Microsoft
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
Accelerate Learning with Project-Based Learning
Earlier this year, the George Lucas Educational Foundation released four new studies highlighting how project-based learning (PBL) helps accelerate student learning—across age groups, multiple disciplines, and different socio-economic statuses. With this year’s emphasis on unfinished
Content provided by SmartLab Learning
School & District Management Live Online Discussion Principal Overload: How to Manage Anxiety, Stress, and Tough Decisions
According to recent surveys, more than 40 percent of principals are considering leaving their jobs. With the pandemic, running a school building has become even more complicated, and principals' workloads continue to grow. If we

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education California Makes Ethnic Studies a High School Requirement
California is among the first in the nation to require students to take a course in ethnic studies to get a diploma starting in 2029-30.
4 min read
FILE - In this Jan. 22, 2020, file photo, Democratic Assembly members, from left, James Ramos, Chris Holden Jose Medina, and Rudy Salas, Jr., right, huddle during an Assembly session in Sacramento, Calif. Medina's bill to make ethnic studies a high school requirement was signed into law by California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday, Oct. 8, 2021. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)
Education California Requires Free Menstrual Products in Public Schools
The move comes as women’s rights advocates push nationwide for affordable access to pads, tampons, and other items.
1 min read
Tammy Compton restocks tampons at Compton's Market, in Sacramento, Calif., on June 22, 2016. California public schools and colleges must stock their restrooms with free menstrual products under a new law signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom, Friday, Oct. 8, 2021.
Tammy Compton restocks tampons at Compton's Market, in Sacramento, Calif., on June 22, 2016. California public schools and colleges must stock their restrooms with free menstrual products under a new law signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom, Friday, Oct. 8, 2021.
Rich Pedroncelli/AP
Education Florida to Dock School District Salaries for Requiring Masks
Florida is set to dock salaries and withhold funding from local school districts that defied Gov. Ron DeSantis' ban on mask mandates.
2 min read
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks, Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021, at the Doral Academy Preparatory School in Doral, Fla.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks, Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021, at the Doral Academy Preparatory School in Doral, Fla.
Wilfredo Lee/AP
Education More Than 120,000 U.S. Kids Had Caregivers Die During Pandemic
The toll has been far greater among Black and Hispanic Americans, a new study suggests.
3 min read
FILE - In this Thursday, Sept. 2, 2021 file photo, a funeral director arranges flowers on a casket before a service in Tampa, Fla. According to a study published Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021, by the medical journal Pediatrics, the number of U.S. children orphaned during the COVID-19 pandemic may be larger than previously estimated, and the toll has been far greater among Black and Hispanic Americans. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara, File)