|StudentsFirst Ms. Robinson's protestations make about as much sense as this snippet.|
Michelle Rhee's StudentsFirst is a hot topic on some educational blogs yesterday. Diane Ravitch and Bob Sikes have unleashed an unexpected avalanche of readers' comments on their recent blogs about StudentsFirst and a letter from a StudentsFirst paid organizer, Catherine Durkin Robinson. Robinson took exception to being called out by name in Sikes' blog about her plea for StudentsFirst supporters to comment online and support the education reformers and their version of school "choice":
With a legislative battle looming in Florida, corporate reformers propagandists have their marching orders. Last night, Michelle Rhee’s Florida rep sent out calls for an online comments campaign.
> From: Catherine Robinson
> Date: July 26, 2012 9:58:12 PM EDT
> To: Catherine Robinson
> Subject: rapid responses needed – and a contest!
… starting right now, there will be a monthly contest for the best rapid response. The more comments you leave on blog posts, the more times you can enter! Post a polite and persuasive pro-reform comment and email me the link so I can check it out.
That’s all you have to do!
At the end of the month (August 26th at midnight) I will announce the winner. Not only will that winner get a gift card to the restaurant or store of choice, but he or she will also be promoting the cause of real and transformative change in public schools! What could be better?
Robinson submitted a list of supporting signatures at the Florida Senate Budget Committee on Parent Trigger last spring on behalf of Rhee’s StudentsFirst. As of yet, Scathing Purple Musings has not received any “polite and persuasive pro-reform” comments.
Ms. Robinson replied on Sikes' blog:
2012 Legislative Principal
I am surmising since Florida has implemented more of the educational reforms supported by Arne Duncan and the Obama administration, as well as Republicans wedded to the idea that schools should operate on a business model, that it doesn't need as much prodding as do our on the fence Missouri legislators.
The letters urging "grassroots support" is really quite unnecessary for an organization with nine paid lobbyists, don't you think? It really doesn't matter what the taxpayers want. This organization will twist legislators' arms for their corporate blueprint of education. I wonder what the StudentsFirst budget is for gift cards and free dinners in Missouri?