UPDATE x1: Stand for Children Illinois PAC has $3 million on hand for this election cycle.
As way of background, in 2011, former "Stand for Children" co-founder Jonah Edelman explained how the PAC worked in 2010 to "shift the balance of power" away from teachers unions by becoming a new source of political largesse for Mike Madigan and splitting the Chicago Teachers Union from the Illinois Education Association.
In the video above, Edelman credits GOP gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner with bringing "transformational change" to Illinois' public school system.
The Stand For Children Illinois PAC has announced its 2014 primary endorsements.
|Rep. John Anthony (R) (HD 75)||Margo McDermed (R) (HD 37)|
|Mark Batinick (R) (HD97)||Rep. Christian Mitchell (D) (HD 26)|
|Sen. Don Harmon (D) (SD 39)||Rep. Ron Sandack (R) (HD 81)|
|Rep. Thaddeus Jones (D) (HD 29)||Rep. Ed Sullivan (R) (HD 51)|
|Seth Lewis (R) (HD 45)|
Stand for Children is an education advocacy group focused on changing the public education system. The organization includes a 501(c)(4) advocacy organization, a 501(c)(3) training organization called Stand for Children Leadership Center, and state political action committees such as Stand for Children Illinois PAC.
Stand for Children Illinois attracted attention in 2010 with when it entered the state's political arena with significant campaign contributions. GOP gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner is credited with having brought the organization to Illinois. As the Chicago Tribune reported:
Rauner ... brought the Oregon-based Stand for Children group to Illinois. He got some of Chicago's leading investors to provide millions of dollars in seed money for the push to curb collective bargaining rights for public school teachers.
"Stand for Children" has received considerable investment from Chicago's well-heeled, including several Pritzker Family members, Tribune owner Sam Zell, investor Ken Griffin and members of the Crown family.
One of the organization's agenda items is nationalized standards (see video below), asking candidates if they support or oppose Common Core, and writing in its questionnaire:
In 2010, the state of Illinois adopted a set of learning goals called the Common Core State Standards. These standards align what students learn in school with what they need for success in college and career. These new standards are fewer, deeper, and clearer. Forty-five other states have also adopted the Common Core. Beginning in the 2014-2015 school year, Illinois will utilize a new assessment tool called PARCC that was developed by a consortium of 19 states and locally vetted by ISBE (Illinois State Board of Education) and other education stakeholders. This high-quality assessment measures higher level thinking and analytical skills, but will still cost the same as our old standardized tests. New science standards were adopted and will be implemented in classrooms in 2015.
Mark Batinick, one of Stand for Children's endorsed candidates, told Illinois Review that during his interview he found he supported the group's efforts to "do what's best for the kids," and was encouraged by their willingness to pursue innovative ways to improve the public school system. He said the Stand for Children representatives did not ask him to support Common Core standards if elected, but did invest $2,000 into his campaign.