Tomorrow is Stand for Children Illinois’ “kickoff” event at Roosevelt University here in Chicago, but you would have a hard time finding out where and when it is from their web site, which says that registration is “closed.”
Is the event – which starts at 10 am Saturday April 14 at Roosevelt University, 430 S Michigan Avenue – just so wildly popular that they had to stop taking new registrants? Fire code concerns, maybe? Or are they perhaps hiding, afraid of infiltration by actual parents, actual teachers or actual students who support our public schools and are finding out just what Stand is really up to?
The event is also part of a local college campus recruiting drive for another front group, Students for Education Reform, an echo of the corporate reform group Democrats for Education Reform. I wrote about that yesterday.
It’s important for people to know the truth about SFC and its clones.
Here’s a new one-page PURE fact sheet on SFC (downloadable pdf here):
Stand for Children is a wolf in sheep’s clothing – even worse, SFC stole the sheep’s clothing from a legitimate Oregon parent group that used to fight for good things like more school funding, health care and smaller class size.
What does Stand stand for now?
- Closing neighborhood schools
- Expanding charter schools
- Evaluating teachers using unreliable standardized test scores
- Replacing teachers with “online learning”
Who does Stand really speak for? Not parents. Not children.
SFC is a front for corporations, hedge funders and investment bankers who have thrown their wealth behind a national campaign to destroy teachers unions and privatize our public schools. Bill Gates, the Walmart family, New Profit venture fund, J P Morgan Chase, etc. have donated millions to SFC over the past 2-3 years, allowing it to expand to Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Texas and Washington.
What does Stand do? Their main focus is on pushing state legislation to support their goals of privatization and union busting. In their first year in Illinois, they raised $3 million to donate to select state candidates and hire 11 lobbyists to push Senate Bill 7 which allowed the Chicago Public Schools to have the final word on any teacher issue where the union disagreed.
Their leader, Jonah Edelman, later boasted publicly that they were able to “jam this proposal down their throats.”
Warning to parents from a former SFC member:
“My fear is that unwitting parents and community members will join Stand because they want to rectify the problems they see every day in their children’s public schools, such as underfunding, lack of arts programs, large class sizes and cuts to the school year, only to find that they get roped into very different goals. . . I worry we will lose a truly democratic discussion and action on education weighted in favor of corporate reforms.”
Parents Across America member and former Oregon Stand member Susan Barrett
For more information, take a look at:
www.parentsacrossamerica.org blog posts by former Oregon SFC members Susan Barrett and Tom Olsen, and transcription of Jonah Edelman’s Aspen Institute speech boasting about SFC’s Illinois state legislature conniving. Also, Rethinking Schools, Fall 2011 issue, “For or Against Children,” by Ken Libby and Adam Sanchez.