Posts Tagged ‘Teachers Rock’

Dear Teachers Rock performer:

Saturday, August 11th, 2012

As active parents, we thank you for your support for our public school teachers. We support them, too.

But you need to know that the agenda behind the “Teachers Rock” concert and the “Won’t Back Down” movie this concert promotes does not support teachers or our democratic public school system.

The WBD movie promotes a parent trigger law created by charter school operators and promoted by ALEC, which wrote the Stand Your Ground law. The real aim is to privatize public schools and get rid of union teachers.

The WBD movie is produced by the same company that produced the controversial documentary “Waiting for Superman,” which put teachers in a very bad light and presented false and misleading information about charter schools, which overall have not had any better track record in the US than regular schools.

We know that you, like the actors in the movie, aren’t aware that you are being used to promote school privatization in the guise of parent empowerment. We can’t afford a big show or Hollywood movie, but we do hope that you will at least listen to us and reconsider your participation in this event.

Thank you.

Parents United for Responsible Education (Chicago)

Dear Meryl

Friday, August 10th, 2012

Ms. Meryl Streep

c/o Leslee Dart

Dart Group

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

Thank you so much for your attention.

Best wishes,


Julie Woestehoff

Executive Director


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About the PURE Thoughts blogger
Julie Woestehoff is PURE's executive director. Julie's work has earned her a Ford Foundation award and recognition as one of the 100 Most Powerful Women in Chicago.