You couldn’t make this up in a parody. Jeb Bush’ attempts to build momentum for his Foundation for Florida’s Future for a second run at Parent Trigger in Florida prompted the Foundation’s director, Patricia Levesque, to post an online petition. Up since at least May, the petition has hasn’t been very popular, tallying only 71 signatures. Support for parent trigger is even more narrow than people realize as Levesque signed twice: once on June 6th and again on June 12th.
Among other signatures to the petition are some of the usual suspects close to this organized legislative effort for charter schools to take over public schools. Lets take a look at some:
Matt Minnick signed on June 7. Recall that Minnick attempted to address a Florida senate committee on parent trigger as a former teacher until he was outed as an intern for Bush’s foundation. A former Teach for America corp member, Minnick attempted to criticize education historian Diane Ravitch in a column on one of Bush’s websites and was dispatched by this writer here.
Minda Corso signed on June 8. She is the social media manager for the Foundation.
Ryan West signed three days later on the 11th. West is the Director of Talent & Innovation Policy for the Florida Chamber of Commerce. West maintains he was called a “coward” and “sellout” by two superintendents of schools at a workshop when he was advocating on behalf of the Chamber for an increase in FCAT cut scores.
Michelle Rhee’s Florida representative Catherine Durkin Robinson signed on June 12. Robinson presented 1000 signatures on behalf of Rhee’s StudentsFirst the same day that Minnick testified although they’ve never been verified. She was outed earlier this summer for promoting an astroturf campaign to promote parent trigger in blog like this.
Are there other signatures that are attempting to give the illusion of faux support among Anonymous signatures? Maybe. But advocates who sign a petition they are paid to advocate for don’t represent support. Less than 70 signatures in three months for such landscape altering policy as parent trigger is frighteningly weak. It indicates just how few people really want this. And like this lame exercise, Parent Trigger is based on another petition.