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THE EMAILS

Filed at 4:35 pm under by dcobranchi

Scott gave some good lawyerly advice; I should let y’all make up your own minds. Here are the emails I’ve exchanged with Mrs. Rothschild. I’ve fixed the formatting but any typos are in the original. I’ve also crossed out a couple of things for the sake of privacy. Those will be obvious. Mrs. Rothschild’s comments are in bold.

Dear Daryl,
Today it was brought to my attention that your website contains a posting that contains very hurtfful and very untrue statements. I am writing to request that you remove it from the web at your earliest convenience.

Please see a cut and pasted version of what you are being currenly publishing at: http://www.cobranchi.com/archives/004987.html

I look forward to hearing from you. If you wish to discuss any of the statements made in this article or in the link to Elizabeth’s Stone you posted under “wacky folks”, I would be delighted to address your concerns. I can be reached at 215-487-xxxx ext 105.

Yours,
Mimi Rothschild
CEO, Learning By Grace, Inc.
www.learningbygrace.org

And what part exactly do you disagree with? That Einstein crashed and
burned? Or that there just might be a trademark infringement battle between you and K12.com?

Daryl,
Thank you for responding to my request. The story behind The Einstein Academy Charter School is a very long and complex one that began in 1999 and is still pending today. There were a number of forces that were opposed to what Einstein was offering, including the majority of Pa. School districts, the PSBA, the PSEA, the NEA, K12, competitors such as William Bennet and Michael Miliken and others. I am in the process of writing a book which will expose the true story. It will be fascinating to all of us who are concerned with promoting freedom in education and making sure that all children have quality educational choices.

There was never a trademark infringement battle between K12 and Einstein that I am aware of. I do not know what you are referring to.

If you wish to discuss any of these issues further, please feel free to call me at 215-487-xxxx ext 105.

Thank you for your consideration of these issues.

Yours,
Mimi

PS I am a homeschooling mom of 8 who began homeschooling back in 1985. I founded the Massachusteets Home Learning Association in John Holt’s offices and have always been very devoted to homeshooling and have worked very hard to help to ensure that children receive an education that is truly worthy of them. I have written a number of books for homeschoolers and on the use of education and the Internet.

The trademark battle I was guessing at would be between Christian K-12 Online… and K12, Inc. which, of course, markets online education services. My readers knew exactly what I was referring to; check the last comment.

Daryl,
Further research has show that there is another posting on your website which questions our motivations. People who homeschool have many options for curriculum and resources to help them accomplish their goals. The Academies and solutions that Learning By Grace, Inc. offers have been extremely well received by tens of thousands of families because we meet their needs.

Einstein was not run into the ground; it was closed by the Department of Education for many reasons, most of which were untrue and invalid, and had much more to do with maintaining the public school monopoly on education than anything Einstein did or didn’t do wrong. There is much more the public is not aware of regarding this situation that I am not at liberty to discuss.

I am very interested in chatting with you about these issues as I suspect tat we would share much more in common; there are many misconceptions and rumours that people have developed over the years since Einstein was around and I hate to see more untruths propagate which only serves to distract and impede the truth. One of the truths to which I refer is the fact that my husband and I remain committed and devoted to choices in education such as homeschooling and feel that people need positive, life giving solutions to help them through it.

A FACTOID THAT ISNT?
OK– this is from a press release, and they’re marketing cyber home education. But I’d be really interested in learning the source for this:

“Of all parents who begin to homeschool their children, approximately 50 percent drop it within a few months because of how difficult they found it to be,” Augstroze said. “An online academy makes it easier than ever for parents to provide a high-quality Christian education at home,” he said.

UPDATE: Ah– now I get it. Learning by Grace appears to be affiliated with The Grace Academy. These are the same folks who ran PA’s Einstein Academy cyber charter into the ground (and multiple lawsuits).

I trust that you will remove these posts which are harmful to the pursuance
of peace and justice.

Yours,
Mimi

With all due respect, I don’t see anything I have written (as opposed to linked to) that is untrue. The K12 reference was just a guess.

Daryl,
If I am correct in assuming that this response means that you are refusing to remove the libelous and false information you have published on your website, please be advised that we aggressively prosecute those who use the Internet to defame and libel our work.

We brought litigation against Elizabeth Stone whose real name is xxxxxxx.

Once again, I respectfully request that you cease and desist from publishing material that libels and defames my husband, Howard Mandel, myself, Mimi Rothschild and our organizations. We believe very strongly in the importance of the services and materials we offer and will aggressively protect them against those who would maliciously seek to destroy.

If my husband or I or any of our organizations have every wronged you in any way that you perceive, please communicate to us about that issue and we will gladly address it. Throughout the day, I have also offered to share with you further information about the Einstein situation.

If the offending posts which I have identified are not removed in a reasonable timeframe, please understand that you will have left us with no choice but to pursue legal and corrective action. We will not only seek injunctive relief, legal fees, but damages as well since your refusal to remove the materials appears to be willful and malicious.

I trust that you will not escalate this matter further.

Sincerely,
Mimi Rothschild
CEO< Learning By Grace, Inc.

I would be more than happy to delete any passage that you can show is false. As far as I know, Einstein was shut down by the state at least in part to fraudulent practices (i.e., copyright infringement). The conjecture of a possible legal entanglement with K12, Inc. was simply that– conjecture. As far as libel goes, I believe the worst I said was that y’all were “wacky folks.” As that is merely an adjective synonymous with silly, I think it is hardly libelous (as your press release was certainly silly). The offer stands– point out one factural error that I have written and I’ll be happy to delete it. The ball is in your court.

Upon re-reading your last email, I’m still confused. Are you claiming that my link to the Google cache was libelous? And I thank you for your offer to speak on the phone but since you’re threatening to sue me that would probably not be wise on my part.

I will try to be very clear about which part of the post is inaccurate and defamatory.

The headline states that there is a “LAWSUIT IN PROGRESS”. There is no lawsuit in progress that I am aware of as you alluded to in the body of the post.

I meant this tongue in cheek. Not that you were actually being sued, but that the statement at the bottom about Christian K-12 Online opened you up to charges of trademark infringement. I could have phrased it as a question. I’ve renamed that post and deleted the first sentence.

The first sentence suggests that Mr. Bennett (of K12) obtain a lawyer because the “wacky folks who drove Einstein into the ground are at it again.”

See above. “At it again” refers back to the other post on Grace Academy (the one that said that 50% of home educators quit in a few months).

The suggestion that there is something we are doing wrong and therefore should be sued by K12 is false.

It was trademark, nothing more. And it was a complete guess.

The characterization of us as “wacky” is malicious and inaccurate and damaging.

“Wacky” is synonymous with “silly.” I had already (accurately) used that term to describe your press release.

The statement that we “drove Einstein into the ground” is not true. Einstein was closed for many reasons. There was never any conviction or formal charge that concluded or even alleged that we were ever involved in any fraudulent practices.

Were you not sued numerous times over the Einstein debacle (including for copyright infringement)? I did not allege criminality, only that it certainly was an interesting way to run a company. Do you disagree?

We submitted our resignation a full 18 months before Einstein was closed.

I’m not sure how this is relevant. The troubles with Einstein were certainly evident while Tutorbots was in charge.

The statement that we “are at again” is untrue, of course.

“Again” refers back to the press release. If you wish, I could hyperlink “again” back to that earlier post to make it explicit.

You or your readers have apparently believed the propaganda initiated by the education monopolists who sought to take away from the children of Pennsylvania a powerful and much needed resource. From reading the other posts on your blod, it seems that your interest is exposing them, not perpetuating their myths.

Yes- I’m a home education supporter and generally opposed to educrats and others who would damage in one way or another home education. Your first press release falls into that category, in my opinion.

Willy’s post, which you are publishing on your website, also contains untrue and libelous information that misleads the public and distorts the truth. We are not “up to our eyeballs in litigation” and most certainly are not “preying on the Christian market”. This is malicious and will cause damage, if it hasn’t already.

Comments are neither edited nor monitored and are the responsibility of the commenter. It’s in the disclaimer at the bottom of the right column.

Tell you what, Mimi. Here’s an offer that your won’t get from the Inquirer (yes, I’m from the Philly area). Write up your side of this debate including how you think I’m wrong (I’d be especially interested in seeing the source for the claim that ½ of home educators quit in a few months). Whatever you write, I’ll post it on my blog without change (other than necessary formatting). Here’s your chance to get your story out.

I have no desire to see this escalate to the legal realm.

Looking forward to your response.

Daryl Cobranchi

19 Responses to “THE EMAILS”


Comment by
Bec Thomas
May 4th, 2005
at 5:01 pm

LOL, I really hope she tells where she got that 50% number, no one else can see to find any reference to it.


Comment by
Andrea
May 4th, 2005
at 5:36 pm

50% has not been my experience. I know one person who quit. She had to quit because she was forced to return to full-time employment, not because homeschooling was “too hard.”

I know many others who have not quit. I can’t imagine where this 50% comes from.

Perhaps it’s even higher though. You homeschool until the day you enroll your kids in kindergarten or preschool so perhaps it’s closer to 98% that quit homeschooling.


Comment by
Helen
May 4th, 2005
at 6:36 pm

Interesting, Daryl. Very interesting. Thanks for sharing those exchanges – and for your common-sense handling of this whole situation. Wimp? No way. Just sensitive and caring. That’s part of what makes your blog so great.


Comment by
Daryl Cobranchi
May 4th, 2005
at 7:01 pm

Awww, shucks Ma’am. Jes’ doin’ m’job.

Thanks.


Comment by
Daryl
May 4th, 2005
at 8:54 pm

Daryl, You wacky guy, where do you find time for this?


Comment by
Daryl Cobranchi
May 4th, 2005
at 9:05 pm

Mortonian? Is that you?


Comment by
Rikki
May 4th, 2005
at 9:17 pm

Funny thing is, that post would have gone in the archives with just the views it had already generated had these issues not popped up. Now it’s become a bigger issue, and only because of those emails.


Comment by
Daryl Cobranchi
May 4th, 2005
at 9:51 pm

Both had long since scrolled off the main page (which only goes back seven days). It’s now a bit of a controversy here and has made several of the national listservs. If it escalates further, I imagine some of the “A”-list bloggers will get involved, too.


Comment by
Anonymous
May 4th, 2005
at 10:13 pm

“…offers have been extremely well received by TENS OF THOUSANDS of families because we meet their needs…” ?? WOW! That’s an amazing claim in and of itself.

I also find it interesting that she has gotten a promotion within the last week — she was quoted in their most recent release as the COO, and she is signing as the CEO in her note to you.
tmcnet...ce.htm

What exactly are her credentials for providing educational curricula? She apparently is not familiar with the spell check feature nor does she proof her work before turning it in.


Comment by
Anonymous
May 4th, 2005
at 10:48 pm

As Hamlet would say, “The lady doth protest too much, methinks”. Something’s phishy in Philly, Daryl. You go get ‘em!


Comment by
Ann
May 4th, 2005
at 11:29 pm

“Massachusteets Home Learning Association”

Oh my.

Ann


Comment by
J Aron
May 5th, 2005
at 12:06 am

around these parts we call it Marxichusetts ..
I think this lady ought to attend to homeschooling her 8 kids and get some tougher skin.. if she’s upset about being called wacky then she is a bit more than that..
oh and I am not in the bit impressed that she knew John Holt personally (apparently)

Just my opinion , and the last time that I checked.. we still had a right to that in this country.

are blogs covered under the 1st amendment? it might even be a form of freedom of the press eh?


Comment by
Karen Leventry
May 5th, 2005
at 12:42 am

note to Mimi: While we may not often post, it might interest you to note that people from PA, who lived through this mess, read this blog.

Karen(archives are my friends :)


Comment by
Natalie
May 5th, 2005
at 12:55 am

Speaking of the press, Cobranchi, the HE&OS blog and the site address are briefly referenced in the new May/June HEM (primo placement: page 15, first sentence, left column). This is in a lengthy letter from Mary Nix in Ohio of westandforhomeschooling.com opposing virtual charter schools.

OMG…You are, like, soooo popular!


Comment by
Natalie
May 5th, 2005
at 1:01 am

Well, she erroneously referenced the site address as cobran...hi.com. It’s the thought that counts, right?


Comment by
Daryl Cobranchi
May 5th, 2005
at 5:34 am

Actually either cobran...hi.com or cobran...hi.com will work. Most sites will work fine without the www, but ones that won’t are common enough that it makes sense to always type it.

I really have no idea why some work and others don’t. Maybe our resident internet geek can help?


Comment by
Anonymous
May 5th, 2005
at 8:37 pm

So, Daryl, what’s the latest on this? Rothschild doesn’t seem like the type to sit on her hands since Tuesday. I’ve been checking the Inquirer to see if their investigative journalists have dug up the Einstein monster yet to see if he’s been reincarnated as the Learning by grace monster!


Comment by
Daryl
May 5th, 2005
at 8:48 pm

No comment.


Comment by
Chris
May 5th, 2005
at 10:39 pm

Maybe our resident internet geek can help?

Are you referring to me? It’s a simple web server configuration issue. I think the default with Apache is that its works either way – thus the majority of sites work both ways.