Stand for Children Article with a local angle/sidebar

Those of you on this list who are especially interested in education policy and politics in Massachusetts will want to read Rethinking Schools’ special report on Stand for Children, “For or Against Children,” with a sidebar on the Massachusetts chapter. (If you like this kind of reporting and analysis, you can subscribe while you’re there.)

Here’s a sample:

It’s clear from Edelman’s remarks that Stand’s effectiveness is reliant on a public perception that it represents the interests of parents. But in fact, Stand’s agenda is now closely aligned with those who call for privatization, charters, vouchers, and an end to teachers’ unions.This is true throughout the country. For example, Stand’s most significant work in Colorado was their support of Senate Bill 191, a landmark piece of legislation that bases 50 percent of a teacher’s evaluation on student achievement data. As Dana Goldstein explained in a recent American Prospect article, this may lead the state to test every student, in every grade, in every subject—including art, music, and PE. The poisonous debate around the bill vilified those in opposition and demoralized teachers across the state. One teacher, recalling the negotiations over the bill, told Goldstein, “I’ve chosen a profession that, in the public eyes, is worse than prostitution.”

 



Discuss

9 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. Stand certainly stands for something...

    …but is isn’t kids.

    n In all their corporate splendor, they are insufferable in their self-righteous, teacher-bashing, test-imposing arrogance. Naturally the founder had a very different kind of education at Sidwell Friends.

  2. Experimenting

    I am somewhat familiar with Stand for Children. My perspective on education is that experimentation is good. We should try new things – not just testing. I don’t think teachers unions are evil, but at time they can get in the way of reform. Anyone who saw “Waiting for Superman” can attest to that. Our public education system is broken and we need to try all sorts of new things. Whether it’s merit pay or charters or maybe even vouchers. The U.S. has fallen so far behind other nations. Now is the time for bold experimentation and it appears that Stand for Children is calling for that. However, I am open to a healthy debate on the matter.

    And isn’t Rethinking Schools a staunchly leftist organization? Please correct me if I’m wrong.

    • You're kidding me, right?

      Experimentaion is not trying just different things; it’s trying different things in as controlled an environment as possible and then examining the results in an unbiased manner. Experimentation develops hypotheses based on previous research. Charter schools, and particularly vouchers, were the outgrowth of ideologies, not research.

      There is a healthy amount of ongoing research on charters. In terms of test scores, the best that can be said for them is that individually some are better, some are worse, and some are as good as regular high schools.

      “Waiting for Superman” on unions? Why not Hilary: The Movie for a biography of Hillary Clinton?

      “Staunchly leftist?” That’s a funny one. Leftist is The Nation. Mother Jones. Not the Democratic Party. Not the neo-liberal, DLC, conserva-Dems of Stand Up for Children.

      • My point

        Hi Mark – I agree that charter schools are not always successful. I guess my point was charter schools are the places where experimentation is happening – hiring teachers from different professions, longer school days, alternative curricula, etc. They seem to be the laboratories of education in our time.

        And, I asked if Rethinking Schools was a leftist organization, not Stand for Children. I certainly agree that the Democratic Party is not leftist either.

        Thanks for your comment!

        • Sorry, I misunderstood.

          Rethinking Schools certainly looks like a left-of-center organization. Are you suggesting that it’s report is slanted?

          My disappointment with charter schools is that most don’t really strive for true experimentation–that is, aside from test scores, there’s a limited amount of research on their effects.

          We have both a Chinese Immersion and a performing art school in my area. Both interesting models, but there’s not much reflection going on. There may be education going on, but experimentation means trying new things and looking at them with a degree of disinterestedness.

  3. All you need to know

    This video of Stand for Children co-founder shows his relish of underhanded tactics and loathing of unions. What these people think when they don’t realize anyone is listening…

    sabutai   @   Mon 19 Sep 8:38 PM
  4. I hope an editor can clean this up

    But the video refuses to embed. It shows in the preview but not once I post.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kog8g9sTDSo

    sabutai   @   Mon 19 Sep 8:40 PM

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