A Preview: “For or Against Children?”

by Adam Sanchez

Although I had heard about Stand for Children from education activists in Portland for a few years now, I began researching them only after Stand for Children’s Jonah Edelman’s shocking speech at the Aspen Ideas Festival (PDF transcript). I remember last year when Stand demanded to be included in the Portland Association of Teachers contract negotiations and was rebuked by the PAT and the district. At that time I thought that their sense of self-importance was much stronger that their actual membership base or influence.

When I saw Jonah Edelman’s leaked speech from the Aspen Ideas Festival, however, I began to rethink this notion. While Stand may be small in numbers, it became increasingly apparent that they had a much larger influence than I previously had given them credit for. Like the film Waiting For “Superman,” Stand for Children has become a vehicle to push corporate education reform.

Please check out the article that Ken Libby and I wrote, and let us know about your experiences with Stand for Children.

For or Against Children?

The problematic history of Stand for Children

Last October, a friend called with a question: “What do you know about Stand for Children?” The advocacy organization, based in our hometown of Portland, Ore., was expanding into his state of Illinois, and he hoped to glean some insight into the kinds of reforms the group would support. Just two months later, Stand’s Illinois branch had amassed more than $3 million in a political action committee and unveiled an aggressive teacher evaluation bill.

“Have they always been like this?” he asked.

The short answer: no.

Read more of “For or Against Children?”