Tell Scholastic: Stop Pushing Corporate PR in Classrooms
  • Petitioned Richard Robinson

This petition was delivered to:

CEO, Scholastic
Richard Robinson

Tell Scholastic: Stop Pushing Corporate PR in Classrooms

    1. Petition by

      Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood

  1.  
  2.   
August 2011

Victory

After more than 55,000 people joined the Campaign For a Commercial-Free Childhood's campaign on Change.org, Scholastic, Inc. has moved to drastically limit its practice of partnering with corporations to produce classroom materials.

Major changes to the "InSchool Marketing" program include: a projected 40 percent decrease in the program, with significantly deeper cuts to corporate partners, and the creation of a curriculum review board to approve future sponsored curriculum.

"This is a major victory for children everywhere. Thanks to tens of thousands of you who have taken action, students will find less corporate influence in their classrooms this fall," said Josh Golin, Associate Director of the CCFC. 

Petition signers also got involved in additional measures to push this campaign to victory, including posting on their Facebook wall and calling CEO Richard Robinson. You can read more about this victory in The New York Times.

Trusted children's publisher Scholastic is abusing its privileged position in schools. Scholastic’s InSchool Marketing division offers its services to corporations as a curriculum producer for hire.  Its mission is “to promote client objectives” and “make a difference by influencing attitudes and behaviors.” Scholastic’s clients have included McDonald’s, Cartoon Network, Shell, SunnyD,  Nestle, Disney and the corporate-funded Chamber of Commerce.

We know that Scholastic is listening right now. Bowing to pressure from members of the CCFC, Rethinking Schools, and environmental groups around the country, Scholastic has already agreed to stop distributing coal industry-funded teaching materials in elementary school classrooms.  But Scholastic’s commercialization of children’s classrooms runs much deeper than coal.

So please, tell Scholastic: Stop pushing corporate PR in classrooms.

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Victory! Read about it in The New York Times

      “We have to improve our standards, and make sure there’s not a scintilla of anything that could be suggested to be biased,” said Richard Robinson, the president and chief executive of Scholastic.

    2. Victory! Scholastic Agrees To Limit Corporate-Funded Teaching Materials

      In response to pressure from parents, educators and grassroots advocates, Scholastic Inc. will drastically limit its practice of partnering with corporations to produce classroom material, the company announced last week.
      The publisher had been under...

    3. Great Comment from a Retired School Librarian

      From a retired elementary school librarian who signed the petition: "I trusted Scholastic to provide quality materials for my students. I didn't realize you produced advertising materials for corporations that paid you"

    4. Shape Up, Scholastic!

      Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood has a ton of great info on Scholastic and how they could improve their materials to get corporate marketing out of classrooms, here: http://www.commercialfreechildhood.org/actions/scholastic.html

    5. Corporate PR in Schools Examined In The Press

      BNet has a new story on how corporations put their PR in classrooms - including a mention of Scholastic's partnership with the American Coal Foundation.

    6. Another Coal-Related Marketing Program Exposed

      Mentioning Scholastic's partnerships, Huffington Post blogger illuminates another sneaky way the coal industry is getting its material into classrooms.

    7. Color Me Fracked

      Scholastic's corporate partnerships are not good PR! The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has a story on a coloring book produced by the energy industry starring Terry the "friendly Fracosaurus" - and mentions the Scholastic coal partnership as background.

    8. The Retired Teacher that Started it All

      Read a fantastic profile, from The Oregonian, of the retired teacher that first launched the campaign to stop Scholastic's coal industry-sponsored curriculum.

    9. Columnist Jim Hightower says there's nothing merry about "Old King Coal" in classrooms:

    10. On the blog Occasional Planet, a great post on the InSchool Marketing program titled "Betrayed by Scholastic"

    11. Should industry-driven curriculum drive instruction at your child's school? A blog post at Non-Toxic Kids asks the question...

    12. New Huffington Post column: See Jack Drill: The Coal Industry Is Writing Your Child's Lesson Plans

    13. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Commerce? Green Eggs and SunnyD? Check out these hilarious mash-ups criticizing Scholastic's shameless "InSchool Marketing" partnerships, and please share!

    14. The Washington Post on how the energy industry shapes lessons in public schools:

    15. A columnist writes about Scholastic's coal industry partnership scandal:

    16. From the Las Vegas Review-Journal: McDonald's aggressively markets to kids (with a Scholastic mention)

    17. CBS's BNET covers this campaign and offers Scholastic some tongue-in-cheek corporate sponsorship campaigns for next year:

    18. The Los Angeles Times' editorial against Scholastic's policy of working with corporate sponsors has been syndicated. Today it's in the Sacramento Bee:

    19. Reached 50 signatures
    20. In "The Three Rs, Plus Coal," the Los Angeles Times issues a strongly-worded editorial about the Scholastic controversy:

    21. Nice article from Australia about Scholastic's in-school commercialism:

    22. Thank you for participating in our Facebook rally yesterday. More than 100 parents, teachers and Scholastic fans left posts urging the company to end its corporate marketing in classrooms. We definitely continued to get Scholastic's attention!

      Here is one great comment from the Facebook rally:

      "The Scholastic brand was always an integral part of my life as I was growing up; however, now as a mother to three children, I've watched the Scholastic mission slowly erode over time. The addition of corporate advertising within Scholastic news, as well as corporate agendas being implemented within the editorials of the Scholastic school program, has greatly reduced the integrity of your mission.

      Please consider the re-evaluation of your "InSchool Marketing" division's priorities and get back to a more customer-centric plan that focuses on children rather than high-dollar corporate payouts.

      Your commitment to removing advertising and marketing from our schools will be a win-win for all and a re-energizing of the Scholastic commitment to our most precious resource: our children.

      Thank you for your hard work and dedication to our children. Children are our future; let's teach them well."

    23. Scholastic’s Commercialization of Classrooms Runs Much Deeper than Coal

      Editor's Note: This blog post is written by Josh Golin, associate director of the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood. His organization is leading the effort end Scholastic's "InSchool Marketing" of corporate and industry materials. You can sign...

    24. TODAY: Join the Facebook rally to make sure Scholastic can't ignore these concerns.

      It's simple:

      1. Log into Facebook.

      2. "Like" Scholastic's Facebook page. It's here:

      3. Leave a note on their wall - in the space that says "Write something" - telling Scholastic why they should stop pushing corporate advertising in schools, and why you are in a position to care (include whether you're a teacher, a parent or a former student who grew up reading Scholastic, etc.). Remember to keep the tone respectful and polite.

    25. The Huffington Post covers the continuing controversy over Scholastic's corporate sponsorship program:

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Kathleen Michaels BROOKLYN PARK, MN
      • over 3 years ago

      Stop commercials in our schools, I want our kids to have commercial free childhoods. This is child abuse. Especially McDonald's which sadicially tortures chickens while it kills them.

      Kathleen Michaels

      USA

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Edward Jolly PORT SAINT LUCIE, FL
      • over 3 years ago

      Its really sad that it has come to this. Children's publishers need to have industry funded "marketing divisions" Industry should fund educational materials for all students because educated people make better and safer and more loyal workers in the long run

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Sandra Jolly PORT SAINT LUCIE, FL
      • over 3 years ago

      outrageous, this is worse than the manufactured history that passes for real in schools today...this is blatant child abuse!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Terry Buswell DENVER COLORADO, AL
      • over 3 years ago

      Dear Sir or Madam,

      I teach, I will boycott and tell my colleagues to do the same if you

      continue advertising in school

      Terry Buswell BS Ed

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • WALTER BOTTELDOORNE KORTRIJK-HEULE WEST-VLAANDEREN BELGIE, NE
      • over 3 years ago

      Vertel Scholastic: Stop Pusching Corporate PR in de klas

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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