Maurice Cunningham:Three Women and a Website? Keri Rodrigues Will Have to Do Better Than That
Maurice Cunningham is a professor who keeps an eye on the dark money flowing through the ed reform world. In this piece, he tracks what may be some curious shifting allegiances, or perhaps just some convenient selective amnesia. Reposted with permission.
It’s important to the billionaire-backed front National Parents Union to offer the facade of progressivism so what happens when one of NPU president Keri Rodrigues’s closest friends, Erika Sanzi, helps launch an overtly racist operation in the school privatization universe? Duck and cover is what happens.
Let’s take a look at a Twitter exchange between NPU president Ms. Rodrigues and NPU supporter Mr. Ankrum about the recently launched Parents Defending Education, a Koch connected (Koch helps fund NPU too) right wing front peddling a racial and gender culture war aimed at public schools:
“From what we have been able to see, this is three women and a website . . .” Ms. Rodrigues can see much more, but she didn’t share it. She can see that one of the three women is her friend and former podcast and radio venture partner, Erika Sanzi. Ms. Sanzi is Director of Outreach for PDE. The two women once co-occupied a land known as Planet Mom.
The podcast was around for at least a few episodes and apparently spun off a radio show:
In January 2020 when Diane Ravitch, Peter Greene, and I separately pointed out that the newly formed National Parents Union was yet another billionaire financed AstroTurf front, Ms. Sanzi published an attack on us and defense of her friend Ms. Rodrigues. In 2017 Ms. Sanzi said of Ms. Rodrigues, “I consider her a partner in this work. And a friend.”
There’s no evidence NPU has hundreds of groups across the nation doing anything. The organization is a billionaires’ plaything. It has two boards of directors. One of the boards (the one on the website, Ms. Rodrigues is a director on the legally constituted one) should be asking questions. They might want to first touch down on Planet Mom.
Three women and a website? There’s more to the story.