Stand for Children’s claim, that they are a grassroots organization that stands for access to quality education for all students, is appealing to many parents and educators. A closer inspection, however, reveals a very different agenda, one that is driven by vast amounts of corporate money and dangerous, ideology-driven notions of education reform. In this program we take a close look at Stand for Children and their controversial activities.
We hear stories from two Massachusetts school committee members who were former Stand members, but who left when they saw a significant shift in Stand’s approach: Roger Garberg (Gloucester) and Tracy O’Connell Novick (Worcester). We hear from the president of the Massachusetts Teachers Association, Paul Toner, on a controversial ballot initiative that Stand is pushing in the state. We also share a clip of Jonah Edelman, Stand co-founder and CEO, candidly speaking at the Aspen Institute about Stand’s true agenda to destroy the power of teachers unions. Then, we talked with the president of the Chicago Teachers Union, Karen Lewis, about her reaction to this clip and to Stand for Children.
We'd like to note that Education Radio contacted Stand leadership in Massachusetts to request an interview. Stand is staffed by many people who consider themselves education activists, and we were genuinely interested in their take on what we were finding out about the organization. However, after initially being receptive to our request and scheduling an interview, they then presented some conditions and let us know that one Stand staff member would be speaking with us while another would be on the phone for support, and could stop the interview at any point. We agreed to these conditions, only to have them pull out a few hours before the interview was to take place. We can only surmise this is due to the fact that it would have been a difficult, and controversial, conversation.
For more information about what you hear on today’s program, please see the following links:
Transcription of Jonah Edelman’s remarks at The Aspen Institute
Stand for Children, A Hometown Perspective on it’s Evolution by Susan Barrett