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Illinois Federation of Teachers praises CTU leader Jen Johnson for clarifying Stand for Children petition while Stand for Children whines about the result

Just prior to the June 27, 2012 meeting of the Chicago Board of Education, Stand for Children issued an email to its group complaining, while not telling its readers the real reason. The Stand for Children email stated as follows:

Dear __________, I'm really frustrated. Last week, our parent petition asking both CPS and the Chicago Teachers Union to settle ongoing contract disputes was publicly criticized and called "unacceptable." I was shocked that people would want to silence the voices of parents, especially since a breakdown in negotiations could mean that 400,000 of our kids — including my son Daniel — could be locked out of their classrooms this fall.

This is not about taking sides. We are fighting for what's best for our kids — and that starts with ensuring they can actually attend school.

I'm going to deliver the petition in person at the school board meeting on Wednesday morning. I need your support so I can ensure our voices are heard loud and clear. Can you take 30 seconds sign the petition?

http://cl.s4.exct.net/?qs=23374bfc82874c4cf1187fd2d4974ff391d5ca25fbf603d375b5dea646c0ca19

Since my son Daniel entered CPS three years ago, I've been fighting for his right to a quality public education. My son loves his school, his friends, and his teachers. The thought that he could miss out on days or even weeks of valuable education time because the adults who are charged with keeping him in school are not able to arrive at an agreement is not acceptable to me.

I believe strongly in the institution of public education; I believe teachers have the right to be paid appropriately for working longer hours... but I also believe that parents should be given the right to speak up when our children's education is at stake. If you think parents should be able to speak up - no matter where their opinion may lie so that all voices are heard - take a moment to sign the petition and share it on your social networks.

Standing with you,

Michael R. Butz Stand for Children Parent and Member

P.S. Did you pick up today's Tribune? Check out page 11 and the open letter from myself and other parent leaders of Stand urging people to sign the petition: http://cl.s4.exct.net/?qs=23374bfc82874c4cc9141a905edb6d83efb4669a555e38772e23825e1413ef17

The report from the Illinois Federation of Teachers on the incident that Butz talks about follows:

Labor’s Efforts Encourage Change.org to Cut Ties with Anti-Union Groups

6/22/2012

Change.org, a powerful for-profit online company that channels grassroots energy into petition-based activism, has cut ties with StudentsFirst and Stand for Children, so-called education reform and child advocacy groups funded by corporate interests with anti-union agendas.

Labor unions pressured Change.org to make the move, noting that the company was betraying its liberal roots by partnering with Michelle Rhee, the anti-union former head of Washington D.C. schools and founder of StudentsFirst, and Jonah Edelman, outspoken public school privatization advocate and head of Stand for Children.

“Labor’s intent was to encourage Change.org to draw a line that refuses business from anti-union groups, just as it currently rejects business from organizations with an anti-immigrant or anti-gay bias,” said IFT President Dan Montgomery.

Change.org initially stood by its decision to allow the billionaire-backed groups to create campaigns using their online tools. But when Stand for Children created a petition earlier this month on the Web site criticizing the Chicago Teachers’ Union (CTU) for authorizing a strike vote, it started a firestorm of protest.

The petition, sent to the Chicago Board of Education and CTU President Karen Lewis, was authored by the Illinois chapter of Stand for Children:

.....................................................................................................................................................
400,000 Chicago students could be locked out of Chicago classrooms because contract negotiations are starting to break down, causing a premature strike-authorization vote to occur before anyone knows what is in the contract proposal. We strongly call for all parties to bargain in good faith to reach a new agreement. Don’t hold our students hostage in a negotiation where they have no voice! 
.....................................................................................................................................................

Chicago teacher and CTU member Jennifer Johnson was so appalled by the Stand petition that she drafted a letter on another petition-based Web site to the founder of Change.org, demanding that the company "Stop Supporting Union-Busters." Thousands of people signed the petition within days.

The overwhelming response to Johnson’s petition convinced the company to reconsider their position. Change.org decided to stand by their organizational values and severed ties with StudentsFirst and Stand for Children this week.

“This is truly a success story,” added the IFT president. “Corporate agendas to bust unions, get rid of public schools and turn education into a for-profit enterprise are not good for teachers, students or communities. But we can fight back - and win.”

http://www.ift-aft.org/news/dailynews/12-06-22/Labor_s_Efforts_Encourage_Change_org_to_Cut_Ties_with_Anti-Union_Groups.aspx

This email was sent by: Stand for Children

850 W. Jackson Blvd, Suite 330

Chicago, IL 60607



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