On September 03, 2014, I wrote a post about Education Post, a nonprofit set up to pretty much just operate a pro-corporate-reform-promoting blog. Upon start-up, EdPost scraped together $12 million.
Now that's one expensive blog.
It turns out that billionaire Eli Broad convinced Peter Cunningham, former communications official for (freshly resigned) US Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, to run the cushy, pro-privatization blog operation.
EdPost has been in operation for just over a year, and it seems that Cunningham can't seem to attract what he cannot purchase:
Non-millionaire-blog-operator Jennifer Berkshire captured news of the origin of EdPost and some of the Cunningham corporate-reform lament about all of those numerous, non-corporate-reform, non-millionaire education bloggers in a May 2015 interview:
When I was asked to create this organization--it wasn't my idea; I was initially approached by Broad--it was specifically because a lot of reform leaders felt like they were being piled on and that no one would come to their defense. They said somebody just needs to help right the ship here. There was a broad feeling that the anti-reform community was very effective at piling on and that no one was organizing that on our side. There was unequivocally a call to create a community of voices that would rise to the defense of people pushing reform who felt like they were isolated and alone.
Poor wealthy, test-score-obsessed, public-education-destroying reformers. Broad wanted to purchase a voice for you via EdPost.
But again: No corporate-reform-loving ueber-wave of readers for EdPost.
So, it seems that Cunningham is resorting to soliciting free assistance.
The following is the text of an email that Cunningham issued to a list of "friends" instructing those "friends" on how they might promote $12-million-funded blog flop, EdPost:
As I talk to people across the education community, I hear one consistent message: those of us working to improve public education are frustrated by the debate on social media. While we welcome open, honest dialogue among all interested parties, relentlessly negative narratives can stifle productive conversation and undermine meaningful progress.
Partly, this is our own fault. We don't do enough to share and promote the stories of parents and teachers who put a real face on why change is needed and how it is helping children. We can do more to elevate voices focused on results, not politics, and establish a safer environment for people to share their opinions with less fear of being attacked and demeaned.
To support this effort, Education Post sends out a morning email to a growing group of people like you who are working hard to improve public education. It includes a suggested tweet with a story that deserves attention or reinforces a core message. If you like the story or agree with the message, please tweet from your own personal account under the hashtag#Voices4Ed.
Obviously, put it in your own voice if you choose. Our only goal is to make it as easy as possible--just a click or two over your morning coffee. When we all start sharing together more consistently, we'll send a strong signal to our followers and friends, the media and the blogosphere, that we want to see more stories that show the positive difference we are making in the lives of children.
Thanks, and if you find this unhelpful in any way, you can easily remove yourself from this list. We also welcome your feedback and suggestions. Please send comments to our digital director, Gordon Wright, at email@example.com. Thanks again for your hard work every day to improve the quality of public education.
People don't share your stories because they are one-sided, corporate-reform-fostering propaganda.
Your conversation is a farce; that is the strong signal you are sending, and that is why EdPost can blow millions on a blog only to have to beg for freebie promotion.
Slightly modified version originally posted 10-06-15 at deutsch29.wordpress.com
Schneider is a southern Louisiana native, career teacher, trained researcher, and author of the ed reform whistle blower, A Chronicle of Echoes: Who's Who In the Implosion of American Public Education.
She also has a second book, Common Core Dilemma: Who Owns Our Schools?, published on June 12, 2015.