c/o Leslee Dart
sent by facsimile
212 277 7550
If you really appreciate teachers, please pull out of
phony “Teachers Rock” event promoting
the themes of the “Won’t Back Down” movie:
public school privatization and wholesale teacher firing
Dear Ms Streep:
I am writing to ask you to reconsider your participation in the “Teachers Rock” event next week. As parents, we are concerned that this event is part of a larger propaganda campaign to force privatization on public schools. The movie, “Won’t Back Down,” is just the latest and most intensive move in this effort.
While we have been unable to view the entire movie, we have seen the trailer and read promotional stories that are already being published. We also know that the producer, Walden Media and Philip Anschutz, were behind the “Waiting for Superman” documentary whose one-sided and often misleading content created a great deal of controversy among those of us who strongly support our nation’s teachers. Even Roger Ebert eventually rethought his positive “Superman” review.
“Won’t Back Down” is poised to be equally if not more controversial because it claims to be “based on real events” about the “parent trigger law” which allows parents to sign petitions to close their school and turn it into a charter school.
As an active and informed parent, I know that parent empowerment is not the real agenda behind this so-called parent trigger law. It was in fact written by the head of a charter management company which initiated the first parent trigger campaign. The law was taken up by ALEC and has been pushed in a number of other states with generous financial backing of the Walton Foundation (which is sponsoring “Teacher Rocks”) and other corporate school reform funders.
Our small Chicago organization and a larger network with which we are affiliated, Parents Across America, are working to get out the truth about “Won’t Back Down.” We can’t afford to put on a big show or produce a Hollywood movie to make our voices heard, but we do hope you will listen to us. You can find more information about this issue on our web sites, www.pureparents,org and www.parentsacrossamerica.org.
Thank you so much for your attention.