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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

LEV Fundraising Letter

I got a fundraising letter in the mail from the League of Education Voters that just pissed me off.

The letter, signed by the League's executive director, Chris Korsmo, is about their Education Revolution campaign. Most of the language in the letter is on the web page.

In short, the League is calling for a REVOLUTION. They write:
Let's create schools and districts that value transparency, accountability, authentic parent engagement, not to mention a shared commitment to programs and systems of learning that enable high student achievement and an ever diminishing achievement gap. Let's call "bull" on system-wide excuses for under performance and keep our kids' futures at the center of our work. Let's join arms, voices, and resources to demand improvement from those who are far too comfortable with the status quo.

Wow. Strong talk. Where have I heard stuff like this before? Oh yeah, I remember. Here. Everyday. And where has the League of Education Voters been? Oh yeah, I remember. They have been supporting the establishment. Their members have been supporting go-along-to-get-along candidates for the school board. They have been supporting the top-down administration. They have been distributing the NCTQ report. They have been promoting Race To The Top and Education Reform. They have been supporting everything that they now suggest they will lead the fight against.

Gee. I'm not buying it. And I'm sure as hell not going to send them $100 or wear their disingenuous insincere T-shirt with the upraised fist.

They claim that they are the Education Revolution, but they are the establishment that the revolution is fighting.

Here's what they say their revolution will do from the FAQ page:
What is the Education Revolution?
The education revolution is a movement by, for and of families and students to significantly improve the outcomes for our public school students.

What will the Revolution do?
The Revolution will take on the priorities of the movement and act accordingly. We will show up, speak out, call out the truth, demand better, keep our kids at the forefront of our movement and represent our communities’ needs to our school districts and schools

What do you want?
We want an end to the achievement gap, we want better achievement for all kids, we want everyone to be accountable for our kids, and we’re ready and willing to be accountable too.

Where are you based?
We are everywhere. The biggest part of our movement right now is in the Puget Sound region, but we are parents who live across Washington and we will grow a strong and robust statewide movement.

Not very specific, is it? They are about nothing and they are going to do nothing.

The revolution is in the street; it's not in the League's offices. If the League of Education Voters wants to lead the revolution then let's see them lead the effort to recall Directors Maier and Sundquist. Let's see them take some REAL action.

15 comments:

dan dempsey said...

Charlie,

As LEV wants a revolution, ask them if they will help gather signatures on a petition requesting the "Recall and Discharge" of five school directors named in state audit report #1003871.

Then from their answer, we shall see who is really calling BS and who is just spewing more BS.

Dan

Melissa Westbrook said...

I have to say that I agree. It is actually kind of funny to hear them talk about "making noise" when that's what we have been doing for a long time. Are we an organized group? No but we are parents, teachers and community members who are trying to make our district better.

It is also troubling that there is absolutely nothing specific said and that the first thing I saw when I went to the link was a video with the words KIPP. I didn't even view it because of that.

I know some people at LEV, I think they work hard and mean well so I'll ask them what this means (in action). I'll also ask them why our blog isn't on their list of resources.

Sahila said...

They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery!!!!!

They've seen we have traction and they're trying to undercut us and/or co-opt but with the same agenda underneath the shift in language...

All BS... would use much stronger words but my post would be deleted....

Sahila said...

why doesnt LEV just join with Stand For Children?

Then they'd have multi-state reach for their "in everything but name corporatist deform" agenda/

Far more efficient than trying to rebrand themselves as revolutionaries (like us!)... hey Melissa - did you ever think you would be called a revolutionary?!

Charlie Mas said...

Chris Korsma is a big fan of Superintendent Maria Goodloe-Johnson and he loves the Seattle Times' coverage of her.

See this blog entry on the LEV Blog.

He thinks she is bringing accountability to Seattle Public Schools. And these are the people who want to lead the revolution?

Puh-leeze.

dan dempsey said...

It seems the State Auditor sees MGJ as leading a revolution beyond the bounds of state and federal law.

Is that the revolution desired by LEV leaders?

Seems to me that "Recall 5" would call BS on their BS.

ParentofThree said...

"The Revolution" may have worked in 1968. But in 2010, it just brings to mind so many bad images.

MathTeacher42 said...

Have you all heard of the Partnership for Learning?

http://www.partnership4learning.org/who-we-are/staff

I get their deform propaganda in my school email. I may have signed up on my own - who knows. When I started in the district 4 years ago I just said "yes" to everything that came my way.

1 of the 4 staff cites working at the Gates foundation, the head honcho is ...yawn... from Harvard's school of fixing the world with brilliance ... surprise surprise. In the funders, billy's crew is also listed.

In consultant speak, from 50 thousand feet the backgrounds of the staff of these astro turf orgs are pretty similar. The backgrounds are different backgrounds that the edu-crats of the u.w. in that they're not as educratically credentialed.

Instead of firing teachers, why don't we fire all these people and hire classroom math tutors?

(Just Kidding! It is un-American to blame management for being incompetent, and I don't want to get gitmo'd for being a subversive !!!)

BM

Josh Hayes said...

Yeah, mathteacher, I get those emails as well, and it's really puzzling. I also get emails from the "American Center for Educators", whatever THAT is, urging me to sign up for courses like this one:

"New Approaches to Assessment and Evaluation" which will cover things like: "High Stakes Testing: Increase Student Scores Year After Year", "Beyond Multiple Choice: Differentiating Assessments to Help Students Achieve", and "Assessing Today's Students: Use Technology to Measure Comprehension".

Yeesh! And I'm not a teacher! I wonder how I got on their mailing list?

zb said...

See, what we really need is an educated populace that can see through gibberish speech. Really, did they use some form of madlibs to generate those goals?

But, we need to talk out of our boxes, and talk to people who don't spend their time reading this blog and analyzing the connections of the people in the edu-politics network.

Does it sound good to them? Are they just desperate for anyone to tell them they're going to make things better?

Charlie Mas said...

Just a reminder, the League of Education Voters is a member of the Our Schools Coalition.

Charlie Mas said...

The funniest part of the whole fundraising letter was the end, in which Mr. Korsmo signs it "In solidarity".

I love the way that they have adopted the imagery and language of revolution. I love the way that they use vulgar language ("bullshit") to show how reckless they are and how they break through conventions.

It's really, really funny.

Sahila said...

I think its funny that Union Busters are using union rhetoric!

Sahila said...

Revolution started by a venture capitalist (Nick Hanauer co-founder of LEV, Alliance for Education Board member, author of The True Patriot http://www.truepat.org/), who has completely turned his back on the ideas expressed in Peter Senge's Fifth Discipline and Presence, where he is held up to be some kind of enlightened person who 'gets' the synergy between the spiritual and material worlds???

Yeah, right!

Charlie Mas said...

I will be meeting with someone from the LEV this week and asking them about their "Education Revolution".

I will be asking about a Vision for the revolution, against whom they are revolting, and what revolutionary acts they intend to perpetrate.

I don't see any Vision so far, and it is impossible to rally around an unarticulated idea.

They can't very well be in revolt if they make the leader of the current administration a hero of the revolution. (See Chris Korsmo's article in praise of the Superintendent.)

They can't be revolutionaries if they never do anything.

I will ask these questions and try to get answers when I meet with Kelly Munn on Friday. I won't presume that they are full of crap, but I won't presume that they are sincere either.