When Betsy DeVos was appointed as US Secretary of Education, to say people weren't thrilled with the decision would be an understatement.
It might have to do with the fact that when she appeared in front of House members and was presented with some basic questions regarding her past experience and qualifications for the position, she crashed and burned in an embarrassing fashion.
It could also have something to do with her past ties with student debt collection agencies, which raised some eyebrows, or her utter lack of teaching or classroom experience, which had people wondering if she was an appropriate choice for the top education position in the United States that basically calls for someone to be an advocate for students above all else. On paper, DeVos has all the makings of someone who is categorically unable to identify with individuals being educated in public institutions.
A perception that was recently reinforced when the current Secretary of Education sent this tweet out.
The picture calls into question the educational practices of American public schools, but, as Twitter users pointed out, there are several things wrong with this photo.
The first, is that it's a stock image, and not one from an actual classroom. The second part of the image featuring the "now" classroom was even used on the cover of a textbook called Look Out, Fourth Grade.
The second is that DeVos is projecting a mischaracterization of classrooms with the photo, something that many teachers, educators, and school employees were quick to point out, with actual photos of classrooms that many of them took themselves.
Now I have to admit that my public school upbringing was more akin to the old-school "sit down and shut up" approach to education, but more interactive and mobile methods have been implemented as of late, especially with younger children, in our nations public schools.
The user who responded to DeVos with these photos stressed that this interactive approach to learning is an everyday occurrence in this particular school.
She even invited the Education Secretary to the Texas school to see how they roll and from the looks of things, it's pretty awesome.
However it isn't all rainbows and butterflies for public schools, as other educators were quick to point out. The problem isn't that school classrooms are boring, drab, and teaching methodologies are outdated - the real problem is that, according to many educators, teachers need more resources.
Some argued that the interactive, updated classroom environments are exceptions to the rule, and DeVos was speaking to the majority of US classrooms with her stock photo.
A claim that educators lined up to vehemently deny as they blasted DeVos for posting the stock image.
Her tweet response thread was filled with replies, all of them more or less reinforcing the fact that DeVos has no idea what a modern American classroom looks like.
One teacher responded to criticism of having students explain concepts to other students, that it was the "blind leading the blind."
And her response shows just how outdated people's concepts of education really are.
Someone also posted a photo from a school funded by DeVos family...which looks startlingly similar to the kind of classroom she claims is ineffective.
The teachers were relentless in their criticism of DeVos, saying that her appointment as Secretary of Education was purely an economic move.
And that maybe if she wanted to enact real change, she should allocate funds to the schools that actually care about student development.
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