In this post, veteran teacher Anthony Cody explains how he happened to have a seat directly behind Betsy DeVos at the Congressional budget hearings, and he fact-checks DeVos’ preposterous claim that large classes may be preferable to small ones. No one asked her why wealthy parents who send their children to elite private schools expect and demand small classes. If they listen to our Secretary of Education, they should insist on large classes.

He begins:

“A video of Betsy DeVos responding to questions from Lucille Roybal-Allard of the House Appropriations Committee hearing has gone viral, and has been watched now by many thousands of people. I appear in the background, shaking my head as DeVos asserts that larger class sizes might actually be beneficial since they allow students to collaborate with more classmates, and might allow the best teachers to be paid more. So in this post, I will take a look at the actual research on the subject, and a bit of the history of the idea.”

Rightwing Activist Jeanne Allen slammed Cody on Twitter and advised him to spend his time helping needy students. 

Apparently she did not know that he spent 18 years teaching middle school science in Oakland. Cody asked her whether she had ever been a teacher, but she did not respond. She runs an advocacy group-the Center for Education Reform- that supports vouchers, charters, home schooling, and for-profit schooling. She opposes public schools and teachers unions. She works closely with DFER and other anti-public school organizations. That’s her idea of “helping needy students”: not actually teaching them but closing their public schools. Her salary: $217,000.

Read the other comments on this exchange: Mitchell Robinson says that Anthony Cody has “forgotten more about teaching than anyone in your group [the Center for Education Reform] has ever known.” I doubt that there are any teachers on the CER board.