Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Vanderbilt study defies Stand for Children assumptions?

Stand for Children endorsed Karl Dean recently from its appointed position as "advocate" for Metro Public Schools. But a Boston educator does not endorse Stand for Children's agenda, which is not even adopted for private school kids:

The re-emergence of Stand for Children would be great news for our children if studies supported its positions, including its inequitable and ineffective teacher evaluation plan. A study by Vanderbilt University in 2010 concluded such an approach is not effective.

The educational history of Stand for Children leader Jonah Edelman is instructive. He attended the exclusive Sidwell Friends School in Washington, where President Obama sends his children. Recently, a faculty member at Sidwell Friends was quoted as saying that the school does not consider student test scores helpful in determining a teacher’s effectiveness.

Every child has a right to the same thoughtful, creative education that Edelman received at the hands of teachers who weren’t shackled to incessant fill-in-the-bubble standardized testing. Kids deserve better from those who claim to stand for them.

Bill Schechter Brookline The writer is a retired public school teacher.

The more I consider their agenda, the more I wonder whether SFC is bent on maintaining an educational caste system.


  1. There will be some phone-calls made in the next few days in regards to this story. Dean will answer a few of them. Various board-members will make some calls to some other various board-members here in town. Some Dean staffers and a couple of hired-gun PR folk will convene with one or two of these board-members.

    Somebody will go get Starbucks and some bagels from a local shop before they convene. A few council members will be called. One or two of them may even be put on speaker-phone while the folks who convened sip their Starbucks and munch on toasted bagels and whipped cream cheese.

    Eyes will squint and a few eye-brows will be raised in feigned interest. One hour later, a "response memo" with an "action plan" will be drawn up.

    Life goes on.

  2. My offer still stands if you would like to hear directly about what Stand for Children is actually doing in Nashville, because you seem very misinformed. If you are interested in doing more than complaining online and are serious about taking action to make change for children, call me at 972-0765.

  3. Ms. Hunt: IMO blogs are social media where commenters can interact with, contest and confirm information. This is not a newspaper or even a newsletter. I am not a journalist. If you believe I am misinformed, then feel free to disagree on the blog or via email (in which case I will edit and post your comments).

  4. Perhaps Ms. Hunt could post some information about Stand for Children on this blog, like a web-site, some links to news articles, her e-mail address, etc.

    A few of her own lines would certainly be appreciated. That would likely get me to dig into any other info she offers.

    I'll give her kudos for sharing her name on this site, but I for one, would like to know more.

    So please tell me.

    That's why Mike puts his effort into this site. It's a forum -- a town square where people post fliers, stand on soap-boxes and shout or talk quietly amongst themsleves.

    So take advantage of it.

    The Tennessean ain't gonna do it.

  5. I personally would love to hear how Ms Hunt stands with Children. I've been a follower on Facebook for about 8 months now and grown continually concerned with their agenda. I originally joined because the name struck me as an organization that shared the same principals as I did. Instead I've been continually bombarded with legislation that does nothing for children. Higher support of standardized testing, ending of tenure, ending of collective bargaining, increased growth on charter schools, in short nothing that has shown any benefit for students and all the trappings of political agenda. I'd quit following them, but in this environment I think its important to follow Machevelli's lead and keep your friends close and your enemies closer.

  6. Wow, I just stepped down as a volunteer team leader of SFC in Oregon. they did start out quite genuine, and I don't know what happened to them, but if you look at how their board has changed, that may explain it. Right now, you should look at who is on the board of Stand for Children and Stand for Children Leadership Center. You may also want to look at who is giving them money to see why their agenda has changed. I hope with all the parents and community members speaking up, they will go back to their original work.

  7. HI, I recently stepped down as a volunteer team leader of a Stand team in Portland, OR. I did so because of their change. It is hard to understand their evolution, especially when they started out on such a genuine, well intended path. But, I think if you look at the current board of directors of Stand for Children and Stand for Children Leadership Center, you will see why their agenda has changed. It is also worth looking at who funds them, such as the Gates Foundation and Walton Family Foundation. It has been interesting to read how parents around the country are starting to feel the same way about them and noticing their change.

  8. I’ve been community organizer with Stand for 12 years and I am proud of the work our Nashville school volunteers do to make public education better for Nashville’s children. I believe that the action is in the conversation, which is why I’ve given both my name and phone number (972-0765) for anyone interested in taking this issue on in “real life” vs. over the internet. I’m positive you would never have sat across from me or any of the fellow public school parents and teachers that I work with on a daily basis and make a snarky comment suggesting that we are upholding an educational caste system. I do think there is a tendency for people to say things online that they would never say to your face and I would never want folks to be discouraged from taking action through Stand for Children.
    Our volunteers recently led a series of community meetings in several schools, where parents, teachers and students developed a list of expectations for our schools. I listed out some of those expectations and explained our Vibrant Schools Campaign purpose here:
    We are in favor of using student performance data as one of the multiple measures in teacher, principal, school and district evaluations. As you can read from the article link above, our definition of a vibrant school is one that nurtures the whole child, where academics are only a part of our expectation. We’ll accept any help offered—from unions, foundations, the chamber of commerce, people with and without children, public and private school families, and bloggers—to give all our children the public education they deserve, regardless of school lottery number or zip code.