Friday, March 21, 2014

Stand For Children's 7000 Signature Petition - Is It Above Board?


UPDATE: 3/27/2014 (see bottom of post)

We have told you several times about those behind Stand For Children and "ExpectMore.org". As you may know, a week or so ago, Stand For Children presented a petition signed by 7000 Oklahomans who supported Common Core.

Of course, we were skeptical - especially since we found this not long after that petition presentation:
Sonja Semion, who heads Stand for Children Colorado, brought along a unique visual aid to show that group’s support for the standards – a printout containing more than 7,000 signatures from citizens who signed a Stand online petition supporting the standards.
Apparently, we weren't the ONLY skeptical group in the state.  Just today, Oklahoma Parents and Educators for Public Education (OPEPE) published a YouTube video including a very short audio clip in which Amber England, Government Affairs Director for Stand For Children Oklahoma, admits the signers did not specifically sign a petition against Common Core.  Here is the transcribed audio:
England:  (unintelligible/audio cut in) …you know fighting to keep Common Core
OPEPE:  Well you did take 7000 names up to the Capitol for it
England:  Absolutely…We did
OPEPE:  And there were people who received an email saying thank you for signing our petition who didn’t sign your petition… they simply signed an email sign up to get more information about Common Core so we have concerns about whether those 7000 people were actually even people who wanted to support common core…they were just asking questions about it – that’s unfortunate – I mean, that’s really unfortunate
England:  Well…
OPEPE:  That’s a huge - that’s a huge problem…
England:  I’m going to tell you how, how, the petition, it, it, you literally had to say I support higher standards
OPEPE:  But that’s not Common Core(unintelligible/several voices speaking at once)
OPEPE:  We all support higher standards
OPEPE:  I support higher standards
OPEPE:  That’s not Common Core – Common Core’s not higher standards – where’s the proof
England:  And not only that, after they signed that email, then we put them through a series of emails to make sure and we educated them…so it wasn’t….
OPEPE:  Educated them on what?  Facts?  I mean, did you give them any facts?
England:  Absolutely
OPEPE:  Or was it; these are higher standards?
England:  Yes we gave them facts…and so
OPEPE:  I would love to see that
England:  So I wanna, I came here today to talk about…(end of recording)


Could this be the portal through which these '7000' signatures were collected?  The "Dear Lawmakers" 'action item' says this
Join us in expecting more and supporting higher learning standards that will prepare our students to be ready for college and beyond.
There is NO petition on their site nor a link to a petition I could find - there isn't even a press release about their 7000 signature petition.

One of the women at the meeting with England called the situation "unfortunate".  Unfortunately, I would identify this as more akin to fraud.  How do you justify calling 7000 names - some that are clearly in and of themselves fraudulent - 



- a 'petition' with stature enough to be presented to a lawmaking body in order to influence policy?

We have no problem with people who have delved into all the facts behind the implementation of the standards and the standards themselves and still want them.  We find it odd - but if you've done your research and you still feel them appropriate, what else can we say? 

It is worse than troubling, however, to realize the amount of misinformation being perpetrated on Oklahomans - and Americans across the country - by Stand For Children and the Chamber of Horrors (sorry...Chamber of Commerce) - who have a much larger megaphone with their donated millions from Bill Gates and others.  Why use fraud too?  

UPDATE:  Oklahoma Parents and Educators for Public Education had their story covered by News9 in Oklahoma City where the fraudulent signatures were brought to light.  The story can be found here:  http://www.news9.com/story/25071850/fake-signatures-found-on-okla-common-core-petition