I will protect your pensions. Nothing about your pension is going to change when I am governor. - Chris Christie, "An Open Letter to the Teachers of NJ" October, 2009

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Students First: Astroturfers

How dare anyone impugn a refomyist's motives by daring to point out what they are actually up to!
That’s how regional StudentsFirst organizer Catherine Robinson felt when an email she sent to a small group of supporters wound up published on education blogs.
The email announced a contest awarding gift cards for the best comments left on online education stories. (Two StateImpact Florida stories were among included links).
Robinson says the $5 gift cards were a small tribute of thanks to hard-working volunteers. The gift cards were not a pay-off designed to impersonate a groundswell of public support for StudentsFirst ideas, she says.
“I thought it was sad. It broke my heart,” Robinson said of seeing her email posted to a handful of education blogs. “I thought it might be nice to recognize that (volunteer effort)…It’s not much of a reward.”
Boo-freakin'-hoo. Funny how the original email said nothing about the amount of the gift card; I guess Robinson was stretching her budget as far as it could go by being a cheapskate with her mail list.

This is all part of a pattern by Students First and Michelle Rhee to artificially inflate their membership numbers and create a mirage of reformyism. If this silly story does anything, I hope it makes the media question Rhee every time she claims she's riding a tsunami of support. Those 119,000 Florida "members" look mighty suspect when they don't pay dues and get Red Lobster cards for leaving comments on blogs.

I mean, Rhee admits she inflated her students' test scores on her resume; why wouldn't she inflate her membership numbers for Student First?

When I said we had a bazillion members, what I really meant was...

No comments: