Rebeca Nieves, of DFER, took to the pages of Catalyst to assert that parents have much in common whether they advocate for better neighborhood schools or better options including charters and other types of schools (Real parents have been standing up). This being the Internet, however, commenters don't want to talk about that. Instead they want to try and discredit DFER and raise the issue of phone calls made in favor of resolving the strike. This is basically an attempt to shout down the opposition -- a strategy used too much online these days which may be effective in the short term but is alienating and self-defeating in the long run.
According to some of the commenters, DFER got home and phone numbers they weren't supposed to have, and worked with a group (Power of Parents) that is closely affiliated with CPS. They also have questions about Nieves' description of her kids' schooling options.
Here's what I know:
People get calls at home and increasingly via cell phone all the time, not always ones they welcome or that come from down the street. My mom is making calls for Obama to battleground states.
Yes, Power of Parents does appear to connected to CPS and City Hall, but then again pretty much every person and group in town -- PURE, Mike Klonsky, etc. -- has taken money or worked with city agencies at some point in the past.
It's a slippery slope. There are lots of easy and mostly inconsequential connections that can be made. If someone wanted to find connections between Illinois Raise Your Hand and its leaders and city agencies, the teachers union, or other outfits I'm sure they could. If someone wanted to find out about union phone banking and other forms of outreach to parents and community members, it wouldn't be hard.
That won't stop the conspiracy theories and angry comments, however. Of the nearly 90 so far the only one I found that highlighted the destructiveness of the discourse was this one:
"I don't know anything about phone numbers, but my bigger thing is everytime anyone talks about education, or slightly disagrees with the status quo, or is ok with quality schools no matter what kind of school they are - people get aaaangry. Chill out everyone. Seriously. What kind of example are we setting for our kids when we can't listen, communicate or even disagree respectfully. Get it together. So many parents stay silent because they don't want to put themselves in the middle of all the yelling. I don't blame them."
Parents are parents, and parents who choose charters or want more of them aren't disqualified by that choice. They're just making a different choice from you. Nor are parents who want to improve neighborhood schools, etc. Some will make informed decisions, others won't. Some will be easily manipulated by what people tell them, etc. Again, still parents.