Posts Tagged ‘WBDmovie’

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 www.parentsacrossamerica.org.

Thank you so much for your attention.

Best wishes,

 

Julie Woestehoff

Executive Director

 

Time to tweet some stars about the Won’t Back Down movie

Friday, August 10th, 2012

The propaganda campaign for the parent trigger law created by charter school operators and promoted by ALEC is in full swing.

The big kick-off event is a concert called “Teachers Rock.” Like the “parent tricker” itself, this concert pretends to honor teachers while promoting a movie, “Won’t Back Down,” that is designed to get a lot of them fired and replaced by Teach for America newbies.

The concert will take place this Tuesday, Aug, 14th, at the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles. CBS will air a one-hour special using footage from the concert and the WBD movie, tributes to teachers from stars, etc. on Friday, Aug. 17th, at 8 pm EDT.

We know that most of the performers, like the actors in the movie, don’t have a clue how they are being used to promote school privatization in the guise of parent empowerment, but this concert and WBD movie are going to put the issue front and center and we need to make sure that our voices are heard.

Here’s what you can do:

PAA and I have written about the Won’t Back Down movie before, but if you don’t remember details, take a few moments to read PAA’s review of the WBD movie trailer (which is all we have been able to see so far – we are requesting a screening) and an update on recent parent trigger events.

Then reach out to everyone you can about this movie and concert. This movie is designed to be even more powerful than Waiting for Superman, and we need to counter it with every thing we have. How do you fight Hollywood? Make the movie controversial, not feel-good. Take it to the stars who mean well but need to open their eyes to what they are doing. Everyone needs to write to CBS, too.

Everyone wants to write to a star, right? A list of contact info for a few of those involved in the Teachers Rock concert follows (gleaned from posters on Diane Ravitch’s blog). The easiest thing to do is to facebook and tweet them, keeping on mind that they are not the enemy.  Post your thoughts on their facebook pages, twitter feeds, use their e-mails, write to their publicist! This is the big one and we need all hands on board!

I’ll post my letter the Meryl Streep next.
Here are a few message points:

  • The Won’t Back Down movie and the 8/17 Teacher Rocks concert are propaganda for the parent trigger law created by charter school operators and promoted by ALEC.
  • Won”t Back Down  is a “feel-bad” movie for parents and teachers who support public education.
  • The controversial WBD movie promotes charter takeovers of schools, yet charter schools are no better than our regular schools.
  • No real teachers were depicted in the filming of the WBD movie.
  • Parents won’t be fooled by the “Parent Tricker” or the Won’t Back Down movie.

Teachers Rock performers:

1. Dave Grohl: Manager-Gabby at 323-856-8222
2. Adam Levine: Receptionist will take message at 310-776-7640
3. Jack Black: email to sjackson_asst@WMEentertainment.com
4. Meryl Streep: publicist’s voice mail at 212-277-7555
5. Viola Davis: email to ewolff@apanewyork.com
6. Morgan Freeman: email to stan@sra-pr.com

More:
1. Dave Grohl – Foo Fighters – Agent: Don Muller – WME 1325 Avenue Of The Americas, New York, NY 10019 T.212.586.5100 F.212.246.3583
2. Adam Levine – Maroon 5 singer – Manger: Career Artist Management – 1100 Glendon Avenue, Suite 1100 | Los Angeles, CA 90024 | 310.776.7640 (p) | 310.776.7659 (f)
3. Jack Black – Agent: WME 1325 Avenue Of The Americas, New York, NY 10019 T.212.586.5100 F.212.246.3583
4. Meryl Streep – Publicist: Leslee Dart. Dart Group. 90 Park Avenue. 19th Floor. New York, NY 10016. Phone: 212-277-7555.
5. Viola Davis – Agent: Agency for the Performing Arts (APA) 45 West 45th St. 4th floor, New York, NY 10036 T. 212.687.0092 F. 212.245.5062
6. Morgan Freeman – Publicist: Stan Rosenfield & Associates, Inc., 2029 Century Park E., Suite 1190, Los Angeles, CA 90067, USA. Phone: (310) 286-7474, Fax: (310) 286-2255.
7. Josh Groban
8. Maggie Gyllenhaal (last, but not least)

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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.