"The whole people must take upon themselves the education of the whole people and be willing to bear the expenses of it. There should not be a district of one mile square, without a school in it, not founded by a charitable individual, but maintained at the public expense of the people themselves." -- John Adams

"No money shall be drawn from the treasury, for the benefit of any religious or theological institution." -- Indiana Constitution Article 1, Section 6.

"...no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief; but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinion in matters of religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish enlarge, or affect their civil capacities." – Thomas Jefferson

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Opposition to WBD and the Parent Trigger

Opposition to the movie Won't Back Down and it's falsified view of the Parent Trigger continues. Here are some of the latest references to the concert and movie...many have links with background information. Teachers and parents need to be prepared for this movie to elicit a lot of public attention directed towards public schools, teachers, and teachers unions...none of it positive.

Contact the people involved...Contact information HERE, and HERE.

Parent Trigger And Why We Need To Talk [Let's Be A Solution]
The crux of my argument against Won’t Back Down specifically is this: we should recognize that this movie will have a similar effect to what Waiting for Superman had on the general zeitgeist. While not very popular, WfSset a precedent for how many times a non-educator could ask a teacher (namely me) about what really happens under the presumption that the movie has more than an ounce of truth to it.

It had very little, but people bought it anyways, because the movie told them so.

I do get it, though. Parents across the country are in fact frustrated. So are many others. Many public schools aren’t working for kids, and the bureaucracy can frustrate even the most patient parent. It often feels like they get the run-around, and when they do protest, they’re often told about how poorly their child performs and that nothing can be done no matter what they say. Too often, even my colleagues fail to see that side, the side where we as educators have to be complicit in the crap when we rather not be.

Don't Back Down From Protesting "Won't Back Down" Movie

A page full of information about the parent trigger, it's connection with Walmart, the Broad Foundation, ALEC, Teach for America and charter school operators.

It's interesting that the parent trigger group, Parent Revolution was founded, not by parents, but by Steve Barr, a charter school chain founder. The parent trigger bills gives public schools to charter schools. One plus one does indeed equal two.

A commenter said...
There is also a FB page to Boycott Won't Back Down. Please try to get the number of LIKES in the thousands. I don't think it's a coincidence that the producers of "Waiting for Superman" are now using big name stars in this movie so they can promote their agenda to Main Street. We can't fight the money behind this movement, but we can fight it with our combined voices.


What Parents need to know: FAQ “Won’t Back Down” and Parent Trigger
How can we fight back? Last spring, Florida parent groups, including Parents Across America, banded together to fight Parent Trigger legislation that had been introduced in the state legislature. By holding rallies and press conferences, calling their elected representatives, and speaking out about how the Parent Trigger is a ruse devised by corporate reformers to benefit charter operators rather than children, Florida parents prevented the legislation from being passed.

Speak out for real parent empowerment. Spread the word on “Won’t Back Down” and Parent Triggers. We need real change in our schools, not false solutions.

Who Is Funding “Teachers Rock” and “Won’t Back Down”?
The parent trigger is a transparent attempt to fool parents into seizing control of their public school and handing it over to corporate charter chains.

So, the game is to fool the Hollywood crowd and to fool parents with deceptive packaging.

"Teachers Rock 2012": An Insult To Teachers
The entire thing is an insult to teachers. No one who cares at all about teachers should watch, and we should all be demanding that the stars who have aligned themselves with this thing immediately pull out and disavow any connection to it. Here's why...

What is the "Parent Trigger?

Why did Florida Parents reject the Parent Trigger bill?
The "Parent Trigger" is a political device created by venture capitalists and return-on-investment philanthropists looking for an effective way to rapidly expand for-profit charter school chains. Parent Trigger or "Parent Empowerment," depends on professional lobbyists and outside forces to persuade 51% of the parents in a struggling school to "pull the trigger," and transfer a valuable public asset from the jurisdiction of a duly elected school board into the hands of a proprietary corporation.

Parents are led to believe that by pulling the trigger and demonstrating "parent empowerment," they are providing something better for their children. However, once the deed is done, parents have very little say over how their publicly-funded neighborhood school will be run. In California, the process of gathering enough parent signatures to "pull the trigger" has led to fraud and deception. Parents were pitted against teachers, principals and one another, leading to parking lot fights, bitterness, broken trust and lingering divisiveness. Nearly every California parent trigger attempt has wound up in court.

The trick is clear. Ironically, the only true act of parent power is pulling the trigger. After the asset transfer, the parents lose all control. Private corporations do not have to disclose profits, methods or budget. Charter chains play by different rules. All fiscal information is considered proprietary and private. The Parent Trigger uses mothers and fathers to vote against their own interests to justify a corporate raid. Charter school developers have zero capital outlay, zero investment and 100% access to carving a profit from taxpayer dollars previously meant to educate each child. Who profits?

Walmart, Right-Wing Media Company Hold Star-Studded Benefit Promoting Education Reform Film
Won’t Back Down is reportedly a highly sympathetic fictional portrayal of “parent trigger” laws, a major flashpoint in debates over education and collective bargaining. Under such laws, the submission of signatures from a majority of parents in a school triggers a “turnaround option,” which can mean the replacement of a unionized school with a non-union charter. Such laws have been passed in several states, but due to court challenges, the "trigger" process has never been fully implemented.

“It's another Waiting for Superman," says Jose Vilson, a New York City math teacher and board member of the Center for Teacher Quality. "You have these popular actors, who as well-intentioned as they may be, they may not know all the facts, but they’re willing to back up a couple of corporate friends or people maybe they've become familiar with" in "trying to promote this sort of vision."

Parent trigger is one of the model bills pushed by the right-wing American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). Adamantly opposed by teachers unions, parent trigger bills (as I’ve reported for Salon) have often been spearheaded and supported by Democratic politicians. In a Wall Street Journal op-ed slamming teachers unions, Campbell Brown highlighted Won’t Back Down as evidence that “teachers unions have become a ripe target for reformers across the ideological spectrum” and Hollywood “has turned on unions.”

Stop the Testing Insanity!


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