First Cue Cards, Now Sock Puppets


Who is Rita Pret?

She commented twice on a post on EdWize, the UFT’s blog, to argue with Stacey Gauthier of the unionized Renaissance Charter School.

In her EdWize comments, Ms. Pret started by introducing herself:

I work in a unionized charter as well. I used to work in a district school. I do like working in a charter better but I would never do it if I weren’t part of the UFT. The UFT isn’t to blame for the condition of the DoE schools as the myth persists. On the contrary, the UFT is the answer to the DoE failure. What is the UFT? It is nothing more than a group of teachers demanding say in how children are educated. I was at charter advocacy dayÖ

After one back-and-forth with Rita, Stacey’s comments stopped appearing on the thread. Rita Pret had the last word, which included this constructive budgeting advice:

Did you not know that you would have these obligations when you converted to a charter? Be creative and stop whining about your staff’s pensions and salary.

Here’s the thing: as far as we can tell, Rita Pret doesn’t exist. She isn’t anywhere else on Google. She isn’t listed on the web page of any unionized charter school. She seems to be that last resort of the desperate, the Internet sock puppet ñ a fictional persona a blogger creates to support his own position.

Leo Casey, who is Rita Pret and where does she teach? If her comments didn’t come from you or your team, what IP address were they sent from?

If Rita Pret is a sock puppet, why that name? Renaissance teachers have a guess. Last week they were outside the UFT’s headquarters, picketing their own union. Turns out there’s a restaurant next door:


Rita Pret, if you’re out there give me a call. I’ll buy you lunch.