Detroit schools have so many problems that a U.S. senator charged Tuesday that his colleagues would never consider the city’s schools for their own kids.

“Kids are going to school in an American city that not a single person on this panel, if they could avoid it, would allow their kid to attend school,” said Colorado Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet, who listed a slew of painful statistics about the state of Detroit schools. “So many kids in America … haven’t been given a chance.”

Bennet’s comments came as a Senate committee considered the nomination of Michigan philanthropist Betsy DeVos to become the next U.S. Secretary of Education.

DeVos, whose nomination won narrow approval from committee members and will now go before the full Senate, has had great influence over education in Michigan.

Critics say she bears blame for the condition of the city’s schools while defenders say she’s given parents options they would not otherwise have had. Here’s Chalkbeat’s guide to the facts behind that debate.

Watch Bennet’s comments here: