I'd like to share with you an important article from the magazine Rethinking Schools, regarding the organization, Stand for Children. When this organization first came to Colorado, I did some research of my own. As a twenty-year children's advocate, I've come to understand that foundations and organizations often aren't who they say they are. It's important to look beyond the web graphics and the catch phrases to reveal agendas. As part of my personal internal investigation of Stand for Children, I interviewed for a job position. A couple of weeks later a phone interview was conducted. The interviewer, a national staff member, was a recent college graduate and according to her biography, the extent of her education experience was a couple of summers working with children with disabilities. Her questions, however, revealed the strategic plan behind the organization. They wanted to know with which organizations I was affiliated; how many personal contacts I had in my community; and who were the leaders in my network. The final part of the interview was a role play. I was given the scenario of a community meeting where no one had shown up and I had the task of comforting and further encouraging the host. At the end of the interview, I asked some questions of my own. My application was for a leadership position. According to the interviewer, I would have a three-month entry pay trial with Stand, and based on my "performance," I could then be considered for a higher position. "What are the performance criteria?" I asked. She answered, "It is based on your ability to organize in your community and grow Stand for Children members." Stand for Children doesn't stand for children; they leverage children. While appearing as a community-based organization, they use deceptive and misleading tactics to gather contacts, promote particular candidates and forward a profit driven legislative agenda. In the name of children they use money to gain the power and control. Look closely below at their policy agenda and then follow the video links to learn more for yourself
For or Against Children? The Problematic History of Stand for Children Fall 2011 By Ken Libby and Paul Sanchez
Stand has seen an enormous influx of corporate cash. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation began by offering a relatively modest two-year grant of $80,000 in 2005. In 2007, Stand for Children received a $682,565 grant. In 2009, the point at which Stand’s drastically different political agenda became obvious, Gates awarded a $971,280 grant to support “common policy priorities” and in 2010, a $3,476,300 grant. Though the Gates Foundation remains the biggest donor to Stand for Children, other players in the world of corporate education reform have also begun to see Stand as an effective vehicle to push their agenda. New Profit Inc. has funded Stand since 2008—to the tune of $1,458,500. According to its website, New Profit is a “national venture philanthropy fund that seeks to harness America’s spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship to help solve the country’s biggest social problems.” The Walton Family Foundation made a 2010 grant of $1,378,527. Several other major funders are tied to Bain Capital, a private equity and venture capital firm founded by Mitt Romney.
In a similar time frame, Stand’s National Board of Directors has seen dramatic changes. Lauene Powell Jobs joined the board of Stand for Children in 2006. She also serves on the board of Teach for America. Both Powell Jobs and Julie Mikuta, who joined the Stand board in 2007, are integrally involved with the NewSchools Venture Fund. NewSchools is a venture philanthropy firm, started by Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and financed by many of the same donors who give to Stand for Children—Bill Gates, the Walton Family—as well as Eli Broad and Gap founder Donald Fisher. NewSchools Venture Fund pours money into charter schools and “human capital” projects with the aim of using market models and corporate management to drastically reshape the education system. In 2010, Emma Bloomberg, daughter of billionaire New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, became the newest member of Stand’s national board. Emma Bloomberg is a program officer at the Robin Hood Foundation, another venture philanthropy organization, whose board of directors is dominated by corporate titans like General Electric CEO Jeffery Immelt and JP Morgan CEO Jes Staley. Read the full article here