Dear Change.Org,

You told the world that you stopped collecting the signatures of unknowing people for StudentsFirst.

You didn’t tell the truth.

You informed me that I was a member of StudentsFirst because I signed a petition on your website a year ago.

I never knowingly  signed on as a member of StudentsFirst.

I was duped.

Apparently StudentFirst has cynically used your website to dupe a million other people as they duped me.

When will you stop facilitating this deception?

The letter below says you are still running three different StudentsFirst petitions.

StudentsFirst claims 1.3 million members. According to the letter sent to my blog, 1.275,700 of those members were gathered at Change.Org, using the same deception that fooled me.

Michelle Rhee uses these numbers to raise millions of dollars from rightwing donors and to intimidate politicians to accept her agenda. She then spends these millions to bash teachers and promote privatization.

If my math is right, StudentsFirst has 24,300 members nationwide, not 1.3 million members.

No one can tell me how to resign as a member.

Enough is enough.

I will report you to the Federal Trade Commission and to consumer fraud agencies if you don’t sever your ties with these deceptive tactics.

Please contact me as soon as possible to let me know how to get my name off the rolls of StudentsFirst. It was put there by Change.Org.

Diane Ravitch

Dear Diane, your concern SHOULD be with’s policy as much as with Rhee’s deceptive tactics. The business model of enables the abuse, and so long as that’s true the progressive image of Change is nothing but a pitch to draw in more honest grassroots campaigns that can become automated recruitment vehicles for their (paying) opposition. Despite a statement to the press implying a response to concerns, Change. org continues to run 3 StudentsFirst petitions. Those active campaigns and all 34 StudentsFirst petitions on record on, whose 1,275,700 signatures (on last count) were obtained by misleading viral-marketing features provided by only to paying clients, ought to be disabled immediately and their contact lists withheld from StudentsFirst. And we ought to be asking, furthermore, how many other causes are being subverted in this way on If we think of the sheer configuration of honest campaigns from around the country and the world that become the infrastructure for profits, routing for-pay campaigns like Rhee’s to identified supporters of “related” causes, the scheme passing as the policy begins to emerge in its disturbing fullness. As things stand now, is a bait advertiser’s (and a bait lobbyist’s) dream.