Sunday, August 8, 2010

Waiting for SuperScam

Even Gotham Schools has fallen prey to the phonied up numbers put up by the ed deformers behind the film Waiting for Superman. In a recent article there, the claim is made that our boycott of DonorsChoose has "fizzled" because a public relations rep there said so. There have been 29,000 "pledges" to see the movie, vs. (now) 45 people who have joined the boycott.

Well, suppose I promised that for every person a teacher could get to pledge to support the boycott I would add five dollars to to their Teacher's Choice allocation. What do you think would happen? Might I have just a few more pledges? You bet I would.

That is exactly what the movie is doing. They are offering anyone who hits the "Pledge" button on their website 5 dollars that they can put towards any project that Donors Choose is hosting.

So, if I'm trying to buy a computer for my classroom and I can get 100 of my facebook friends to hit the button, I get $500 clams. Not a bad inducement. Many of the people making pledges have no clue what the movie is about, and it's a safe bet that most of them won't be running out to see the film just because they pressed a button.

So far, this unreleased movie has managed to get almost 30,000 people to hit that button. That will cost them $150,000 before the movie is even released. More than that, there is a tote board that would allow up to a MILLION people to pledge, at a cost of 5 million dollars. Just where is a documentary film getting that kind of money to throw around? Could it be the very hedge funds that run the charter schools?

Just so you know, the movie was not offering any money before our boycott began. While we may not have a lot of members, this matter did get a lot of coverage. Cause and effect? I honestly don't know. But I hope so.

To join the boycott, click PLEDGE. You won't get any money, but doing the right thing is priceless.


BronxEnglish said...

How come we don't have a bunch of big-name movie stars making speeches about how the whole ed deform movement is tearing public education apart, how children are and will be suffering, and about how hard the vast majority of teachers work? After all, many actors are in the Screen Actors Guild. They're fellow union members, and probably with us when it comes to education, no?
God knows people would listen.

Anonymous said...

Bronx English.
Because the traditional Left is divided on this issue. Hollywood actors and producers are generally pro union and pro public school types (as traditional libs traditionally are) BUT they still are in the slobbering love affair stage of their relationship with Obama. They will not criticize the chief Ed Deformer. They cannot speak ill of their Chosen One. After all, it took a while for our fellow teachers to realize that Obama and Duncan are the enemies of the UFT and NYSUT, etc etc. And it took even longer for many teachers to actually speak out against the Ed Deform movement and Chosen One. And Hollywood types ain't the sharpest knives at the table. They are also cowards (dull cowards to extend the knife metaphor) so don't expect them to speak up in defense of public schools and public school teachers any time soon.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Talk:
I am a teacher on the West Coast. I really appreciate your blog... it is hilarious, and I read every new post. Just wanted you to know, I have never tried to use Donor's Choose, nor have I given more than a scant look at their web site.

I have a colleague at my school who was awarded funds through it, but that's about all I'd heard about it until now. I guess I never bothered with it because it just seems like the odds of getting funds through Donor's Choose would be akin to drawing attention to oneself by waving a single speck of lint from a mountain of white socks... kind of unlikely.

Anyway, maybe more people aren't linking to the Facebook boycott of DC because of the lack of anonymity... just a thought. These are weird and scary political times in education, and one does feel a little fear... unfortunately.

Keep up the great work! And thanks a million for your brave efforts... you are appreciated!

Not Quite Grown Up said...

I was recently awarded funds/materials using Donors Choose, and was ecstatic.

I see that Donors Choose is now essentially bribing people to pledge to see the film Waiting for Superman. I am terrified of what the movie Waiting for Superman is going to do for education in this country - for the ways it is going to manipulate the average person using incomplete, biased, or outright incorrect facts.

I would like to join the boycott of Donors Choose. However, I have received my materials (which are amazing), and still need to send my "thank you package" to the website and my sponsors. I don't want to attach my name to the boycott while I am still involved in this transaction with Donors Choose.

I seriously doubt whether I will use Donors Choose in the future, though. I am saddened that, what I thought was such a helpful company would associate themselves with something that will end up being incredibly controversial.

Thank you for discussing and initiating dialogue regarding this unfortunate connection.