Monday, September 24, 2012

Education Nation ignores parents but we make our voices heard at the premiere of "Won't Back Down"

Yesterday was NBC's Education Nation's "parent engagement" town hall, which turned out

Real-life public school parents

to be nothing but a big infomercial for the controversial film  "Won't Back Down" promoting the "Parent Trigger" and the privatization of our public schools. (See our review of the film and our FAQ about its backers and their political agenda.) The Education Nation parent engagement panels featured the stars of the film, along with privateers Michelle Rhee and Joel Klein, two people who have never shown any  interest in parent empowerment.

Movie poster starring Klein and Murdoch

Only two public school parents appeared on any of the panels, neither of them from NYC, and though the audience was full of real life public school parents, not a single one was allowed to speak. A more frustrating hour I have never spent. Rhee and Klein were pushing "choice" and charters, predictably enough, and Klein, who runs Murdoch's for-profit virtual learning division, was also hawking online learning, though weirdly the NBC host described him as running "an educational organization."

Fake public school parents

Afterwards, we bumped into one of the two parents allowed to speak, Chicago's Vanessa Bush Ford, who also expressed frustration at the lack of substance in the event (they kept showing us clips from the movie, some of the same clips twice). Then we joined the real-life parent protest outside the red carpet premiere at the Ziegfield, where we held our own "red carpet" event. One confused reporter asked us if this was an "actual parent protest" (unlike the fictional ones depicted in the film.)

Yes, this was indeed a real life protest, starring real-life public school parents. unlike the rest of the day's events, which featured  movie actors and corporate reformers who would like to spin their own illusions, while ignoring our priorities.  I was happy to find out afterwards by watching MSNBC's coverage inside the theater that our voices could be heard. Check out our video below of the protest. Short news clips about the protest were also run by WNBC and Fox News.

Wont back down protest from Class Size Matters on Vimeo.

1 comment:

be careful said...

Notice the WNBC link is no longer says it can not be found.