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“Stand for Children” was once a civil rights group; it once advocated for more funding and for programs to help children. Then it was taken over by the corporate reform movement and became outspoken against unions and teachers. The budget surged into the millions, due to its new-found friends (the Gates Foundation, the Walton Foundation, and friends from Bain Capital). In Illinois, it bought up all the top lobbyists to push through a bill to limit teachers’ rights and prevent teachers in Chicago from striking. Stand’s founder, Jonah Edelman, boasted about his success in beating the unions and was videotaped doing so at the Aspen Institute (here is the videotape). (He later apologized for what he said but not for what he did.) In Massachusetts, Stand threatened an expensive referendum to eliminate teachers’ job rights and won.
Many of its original friends left the organization because they did not like its alignment with the forces seeking privatization of public education and demonization of teachers. Some now call the group “Stand ON Children.”
In Oregon, parents and teachers fought hard for a bill to establish the right of parents to opt their children out of state testing. The bill was passed by the Legislature and is now heading for the Governor’s desk for her signature.
Stand for Children has been lobbying and campaigning to persuade Oregon Governor Kate Brown to veto the bill. They wrap themselves in the mantle of “it’s all about the kids” and “it’s all about disadvantaged kids,” to attack the right of parents to say no to abusive high-stakes testing.
If you are a parent or educator or student in Oregon, let Governor Brown hear from you.