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Stand for Children, School Board Elections, Washington State PTA and Charter Schools

Stand for Children, School Board Elections, the Washington State PTA, Charter Schools and Chad Magendanz.

As I previously posted in Stand for Children Stands for the Rich and Powerful, Stand for Children (SFC) has proudly declared by way of its’ co-founder  and Chief Executive Officer, Jonah Edelman, that he was successful in busting the teachers’ union in Chicago and he plans to do that again in the state of Washington. He has led the fight in other states by his own admonition in a video taped session during a seminar at the Aspen Institute, for “pension reform”, meaning cutting back on pensions or eliminating them altogether, and a teacher’s evaluation based on a student’s test scores.

The entire transcript will provide insight into how the 1% thinks and how they operate  politically from backing state representatives to school board members

As Edelman says:

I’m being quite blunt here, the individual candidates were essentially a vehicle to execute a political objective…

And after the successful election of the SFC backed candidates, Edelman says that now he could go back to the governor, with his newly found political clout.

After the election, Advance Illinois (another Gates’ backed organization)  and Stand had drafted a very bold proposal we called Performance Counts. It tied tenure and layoffs to performance…It streamlined dismissal of ineffective tenured teachers substantially, from 2+ years and $200, 000 in legal fees, on average, to three to four months, with very little likelihood of legal recourse, and, most importantly, we called for the reform of collective bargaining throughout the state.

In Edelman’s words:

“We’re already getting going. We’re doing this level of work in every state. In Washington state, same goal. We could readily outspend the WEA. Massachusetts, very similar. It might be a ballot measure in Washington. It might be we have a ballot measure on the ballot in Massachusetts, and we use it as a lever.”

After reading the transcript or watching the tape you wonder just how SFC’s involvement with union negotiations particularly because they were negotiating basically against teachers and not in support of them helps our children in any way.

And where did Edelman get the money to successfully wage this campaign against teachers? From the wealthy few including hedge fund millionaires. See Emanuel’s billionaire donors also bankrolling “Stand for Children”, pushing union-busting organizations in Illinois.

Last year Bill Gates, a big promoter of charter schools, gave Stand for Children $3,476,300 in funding.

And then there’s PIE, another moneyed group, who is also funding SFC and is a big proponent of charter schools.

Apparently SFC was not always an organization made up of hedge fund millionaires and CEO’s who were on board to bust every teachers union there is therefore providing cheaper labor for charter schools. It did have humble beginnings. See: Stand for Children: A hometown perspective of its’ evolution. Another parent who was also actively involved in SFC wrote an article Tom Olso,another Stand for Children member, speaks out regarding the change that has occurred over the last few years. SFC has changed its’ stripes so it’s hard to say if  Chad Magendanz had good intentions and simply drank a little too much of the Kool-Aid or if he has loftier political aspirations as others have along the way when they start to see big money and get stars in their eyes.

So, who is Chad Magendanz and what does he have to do with Stand for Children and charter schools? Apparently a lot. It might have happened innocently enough for Mr. Magendanz who received campaign funding from SFC and endorsements from Kelly Munn and Lisa MacFarland both with the Gates backed League of Education Voters during his campaign in 2008 when he ran for the Issaquah School board and again in 2009 when he ran for re-election. Even before that he was a member of SFC but this boost to school board member seemed to help him rise up through the ranks of SFC and become a spokesperson for the organization during the last legislative session.

According to SFC 2009 report, as one of their achievements they state that they:

Helped elect four strong school board members in two districts: Marnie Maraldo and Chad Magendanz in Issaquah and Catherine Ushka-Hall and Kurt Miller in Tacoma.

And at a statewide SFC conference it is noted in their handout that one of their accomplishments was the:

Election of strong school board candidates:

– We endorsed and campaigned for four successful school board

candidates; Marnie Maraldo (Issaquah), Chad Magendanz (Issaquah),

Catherine Ushka-Hall (Tacoma) and Kurt Miller (Tacoma).

 And now Chad is referred to as a “Stand leader” in the SFC Olympian Connection news update on legislative action in a committee meeting with our representatives in Olympia.

At Wednesday’s committee meeting Stand leaders from Issaquah, School Board members Chad Magendanz and Marnie Maraldo, shared a Board resolution that opposes removing the 2018 dates and did a great job fielding questions from committee members.

 So, where did that name just surface again? As one of the PTA members involved in developing the proposal for charter schools that will be introduced in the Washington State Legislative session this week. The same session where one of the Gates backed organizations, LEV, an organization that is pushing charter schools in our state will be speaking. See So much for fair and balanced with our Washington State PTA. The speaker is George Scarola and he is a lobbyist for LEV.

Oh what a web they weave.

In a recent post, I asked the question of who wrote the proposal for charter schools and now I know who did. A few, hopefully well-intentioned, parents with a lot of help from Stand for Children and the League of Education Voters.

In Seattle we have seen many well intentioned people be duped by the likes of LEV, the Alliance for Education and Stand for Children and it looks like this happened again.

It does seem that the parents who wrote that proposal really do need to get an education on what charters schools are really about and exactly who is pulling the strings behind the scenes before taking such a serious step as having Chad and Ramona begin to lobby for charter schools during the next state legislative session on the behalf of “all parents” and in concordance with Stand for Children and the League of Education Voters.

By the way, during my information search, I came across this on the Stand for Children website. Three of our very own school board incumbents are receiving financial assistance and on-the-ground support from SFC. Buyers beware. From the Stand for Children website:

 A number of our chapters have developed endorsement committees to support education champions running for school board this fall. These committees created an endorsement process, developed questionnaires, and interviewed candidates for these important public service positions. Check out the profiles of our education champions below:

Seattle Announcement:

Sherry Carr

Harium Martin-Morris

Steve Sundquist

As an aside, I am asked the question many times about how to find out who might be behind what in their districts. My recommendation is to ask questions and if there is something that doesn’t seem to add up, Google it and then share it.

Happy huntings.


Post Script:

Chad Magendanz is now running for state legislator.


12 comments on “Stand for Children, School Board Elections, Washington State PTA and Charter Schools

  1. Pingback: McAuliffe’s “Democratic” challenger backed by big-money charter supporters. | Parents Across America

  2. Pingback: Who Runs the Indianapolis Public Schools?

  3. Anonymous
    April 19, 2012

    A fascinating discussion is definitely worth comment. I do believe that you need to publish more about this subject matter, it might not be a taboo matter but usually folks don’t discuss such subjects. To the next! All the best!!

  4. seattleducation2011
    November 10, 2011


    One question to you. What do you mean by “knowledge workers”?


  5. seattleducation2011
    November 9, 2011

    Stand for Children gets a lot of money from Gates so that money is pumped into these elections. In a way, this hinders a democratic process. You have earnest folks running against candidates or incumbents who are now backed by corporate interests. Now, the issue becomes money and for most of the candidates, that becomes a very large obstacle.


    • jmiller
      November 10, 2011

      First, props to your Seattle blog. Really substantive investigative work. What you say about hindering a democratic process with so much outside money is a great point. I would offer that what occurs in classrooms is not entirely open up for a democratic vote anyway. There is something called empirical educational research which should have some weight when it comes to teaching and learning policy. What Gates, et al, represent are really a part of a larger system in modern culture of knowledge workers engaged in educational research: some from the traditional higher education sector and some from think tanks of hired intellectual guns.
      More of the former, less of the latter would be welcome. Even with the purest of intentions, hiring people to conduct research runs afoul of bias.

      • seattleducation2011
        November 10, 2011


        I agree, what happens in the classroom should be determined by the teacher in response to the needs and abilities of the students.

        What I was referring to was the fact that now, even with school board elections, it’s who has the most money wins and unfortunately Stand has major bucks now. Even Jonah Edelman, CEO for Stand for Children, said that they were able to outspend all opponents in Illinois when it came to the teachers’ contract.

        He boldly went on to say that the state of Washington was next and that they could easily outspend the teachers’ union in our state.

        He clearly states that in the video that was posted here:


  6. jmiller
    November 9, 2011

    In Denver, our local SFC leader got herself a $110K/yr gig with the new Mayor: Not bad work if you can get it. SFC backed four “reform” candidates for the Denver School Board election last week and three won but it was the most expensive campaign in history.

  7. Anonymous
    October 10, 2011

    Hey Dora… will you post this on the Seattle Schools blog? and the various candidate facebook pages?

    I’ve been twittering it and reposting in the arenas in which I am active…

  8. seattleducation2011
    October 10, 2011

    The word really needs to get out to the PTA legislative representatives who will be attending the legislative conference this weekend that much more consideration needs to be given to this issue and they should not be blindly led by a few who apparently have different goals and agendas.


  9. David Fisher
    October 10, 2011

    Dora, its an octopus of deceit and treachery. I hope the Seattle School board race is positive in our favor. The people need something to counter all this bad news.


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