Department of Education Quotes Famous Civil Rights Activist, Spells His Name Wrong

Betsy DeVos on Capitol Hill January 17, 2017 in Washington (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

W.E.B. Du Bois, co-founder of the NAACP, wrote that, “Education must not simply teach work, it must teach life.” And the US Department of Education believes so strongly in the sentiment, that it just sent out a tweet containing the quote. The only problem? The Department of Education spelled Du Bois’s name wrong.

We all make mistakes. Especially when it comes to spelling. With the internet at my fingertips, I often find myself googling words to look up how things are spelled. But there’s something particularly embarrassing about the Department of Education spelling something incorrectly.


How did the US Department of Education spell Du Bois? As W.E.B. DeBois. That seems like one of those things that you should type into a search engine if you’re not sure of the spelling.

Screenshot of a tweet by the Department of Education which has an incorrect spelling for civil rights pioneer W.E.B. Du Bois (Twitter)

The misspelling has been met by ridicule online, with plenty of people tossing memes at the account. And many are starting to question if the mistake has anything to do with the Trump regime’s installation of Betsy DeVos to lead the department.


DeVos (perhaps we should spell it Du Vois?) was uniquely unqualified for the position and was confirmed only after Vice President Mike Pence lodged a tie-breaking vote in the Senate. DeVos has never held a position as an educator, never attended a public school, and has never sent her children to one.

Assumptions that the billionaire effectively purchased her position in the Trump regime as a major contributor to the campaign seem to be confirmed by anyone who can put two and two together—something our children might not be able to do after DeVos is done dismantling public education in this country.


Update 12:32pm: The Department of Education’s Twitter account just issued a correction to their earlier tweet and an apology. But... do you notice anything strange about their apology?

Screenshot of a tweet by the Department of Education with yet another error (Twitter)

That’s right. The grammar ain’t so good.

“Post updated - our deepest apologizes for the earlier typo,” the tweet from the US Department of Education reads.


Is our children learning? We’re abouts to find out. This is getting super embarrassing.

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About the author

Matt Novak

Matt Novak is the editor of Gizmodo's Paleofuture blog