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How to Create a Faux Grassroots Education Reform Organization (SATIRE)

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Out-of-work D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee has just created her own new education reform organization. You can, too!

How to Create a Faux Grassroots Education Reform Organization in 12 Easy Steps!

  1. Think of a name using these words: STAND, KIDS, STUDENTS, FIRST, ALLIANCE, EDUCATION, ED, OUR, SCHOOLS, COALITION, COMMUNITY, VOTERS, REVOLUTION, REFORM, NOW
  2. Put two or three of those words together in any order (possibly linked by a preposition like "with," "of," "for," or -- if you want to be really with it -- use "4″ instead of "for"!).
  3. Add an exclamation mark at the end!
  4. Create a slick website -- be sure to include engaging photos of multiracial kids on your front page.
  5. Write a fierce and positive mission statement that no one can disagree with, like: "We want all kids to achieve excellence in school!" Or, "We want an excellent teacher in every excellent classroom teaching excellence to excellent kids in excellent schools!" Or "We don't want any child left behind by mean, terrible teachers and left with no option in life but prison."
  6. Invite a forgotten or disgraced politician looking for a good vehicle to resuscitate his/her flagging political career to be on your Board of Directors.
  7. Fill up the remaining spots on your Board using the Ed Reform Mix-n-Match List of reusable people already on other ed reform boards. It's quick, it's easy, and they will be happy to do it! (Plus, it makes them feel relevant and important.)
  8. Ask for money. This is the easiest part of all. Just pick up the phone and dial 1-800-BROAD or 1-800-B&MGATES. Operators standing by!
  9. Create the illusion of grassroots parent support by also asking for money from ordinary citizens. Then you can claim you have a "membership" and can list the names of all your members in the thank you section alongside the Broad, Gates, Walton and Fisher families (that will make your ordinary members feel special!) in the glossy, four-color, Annual Report you create using the money you have collected.
  10. Ask your BFF funders to commission push polls and surveys that produce data that support your agenda.
  11. Write press releases using this made-up data and send them to the media (remember to include your contact info).
  12. Sit back and wait for the media (hopefully, Oprah) to call you to ask you all about education reform because you are now an expert on education! Congratulations!

This handy-dandy guide originally appeared on Seattle Education 2010.