Stand for Children continues disinformation campaign aimed at media at June 27 Board meeting

While Stand for Children was facing challenges with its disinformation campaign (see the Jen Johnson report below), Stand for Children was shamelessly moving forward. The day before the June 2012 meeting of the Chicago Board of Education, the Plutocracy's most prominent Chicago front group told its email list that everything was fine.

The day before the June 27 Board meeting, Stand for Children sent an email to everyone on its email list bragging about how its petition had gathered signatures. As usual, "Stand" (as it likes to call itself), was neglecting some key facts. The most significant one was that since the group arrived in Chicago, its sole agenda has been to support the ruling class against the Chicago Teachers Union. From the day its people testified in favor of what became SB7 in Aurora in December 2010, "Stand" made its class alliances clear.

Of course, the group has not been alone in the Astroturf side of things. One of the allies of Stand for Children, Democrats for Education Reform, videotaped the "Stand" presentation for future propaganda use. The group made its email report and its video available on June 28, 2012, on its website.

Stand for Children email:

Dear ________ [Parent],

What a week! On Tuesday, I asked you to do one last push to get as many people as possible to sign our petition calling on CPS and CTU to hammer out their differences and come to an agreement on the contract negotiations. Yesterday, I went to the board meeting with other Stand for Children members and allies to present over 3,000 petitions to both the Board of Education and the Chicago Teachers Union. (Let me tell you, that was a heavy stack of paper!).

Having those 3,000 voices behind us as we presented the petition was a huge sign of strength, and our statement was made loud and clear. Watch the video to see my testimony and specifically check out the end when Board President David Vitale thanked us and committed to working hard to get a deal done.

The parent voice in our education system is critical and our role is to hold both sides accountable to not only come to a fair agreement but to work together in the future on how we're going to build better public schools in Chicago. Thanks for your continued commitment to build better public schools for all Chicago children. Standing with you, Michael Butz

Stand Member & CPS Parent

A few days earlier, the Illinois Federation of Teachers (IFT) had issued a statement reporting on the work of one Chicago teacher.

Labor’s Efforts Encourage to Cut Ties with Anti-Union Groups. 6/22/2012, 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 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 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. 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, 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. 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, Dan Montgomery. “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.”


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