Dear Department of Education Press Secretaries
Justin and Sandra,
First of all, let me applaud you and your efforts to engage and inform through the use of Twitter. There are many government entities who are not willing to do so.
Let me also encourage you to actually engage and not just inform. You will certainly find a host of passionate, candid individuals in this space, as you’ve no doubt already encountered. They may well offer you more than you bargained for when you created your account. Understand these are people who believe passionately in students, their possibilities, their potential, their ability, and their education. And many of them are frustrated with the present state of education. As frustrated as you likely are based on your recent tweets. You’ve now provided them an outlet to unload their frustration.
I hope you will stay around. I hope you will respond to the questions, the challenges, and even some of the pointed criticisms. We don’t get enough of that from our government officials. You have an opportunity to help remedy that. I hope you actualize this opportunity.
I would also offer this one last piece of unsolicited advice. Be careful of your words. I know that is your profession, and that is why you work where you do, but I still offer the advice all the same. When you make statements like, “we need to stop lying to students” you step upon very uneven and potentially damaging ground. Because the statement immediately begets the question, “who are the we that are doing the lying?” Are you insinuating that you are lying to students? Are teachers lying to students? Are administrators lying to students? Are parents lying to students? Are we all lying to students? That’s a tough way to begin a constructive dialog. Especially given the history of honesty from our politicians. So please, weigh your words and expect them to elicit a very real, genuine reaction from the community. If you want that reaction to be constructive, I’d encourage you to frame the questions and statements in a more measured manner.
I honestly appreciate your presence here. I look forward to seeing what you do with it.
You can find the official twitter page for the Department of Education Press Secretaries at http://twitter.com/EDPressSec