What We've Done
Our history and impact in a nutshell
On June 1, 1996, more than 300,000 people gathered at the Lincoln Memorial for the first ever Stand for Children Day, the largest demonstration for children in U.S. history. Out of this amazing day, parents and community members utilized the tremendous energy to return home and fight to improve the lives of children through better education.
Every day Stand staff, members, and supporters heed the call of the great Civil Rights icon, Rosa Parks, who challenged the rally crowd by saying, “If I can sit down for justice, you can stand up for children.”
Since 1999 when Stand launched its first chapter in Oregon, we have achieved an array of education policy and school funding wins that have improved the lives of all children across the state.
- English Language Learners. HB 3499, which passed unanimously in both chambers of the legislature, represents a significant accomplishment for Stand parent leaders and members of the advocacy community who have been working for years to improve educational programs for students learning English in our K-12 system. This bill improves accountability for the financial resources in ELL programs and provides extra support to those districts struggling the most to produce successful outcomes. It will allow the Oregon Department of Education to take over control of the .5 extra funding weight per ELL student in districts that are consistently underperforming for their these students. HB 5016 provides a carve-out in the school fund of $12 million to implement these improvements.
- Expanding learning time: Oregon has an alarmingly short school year. In fact, our students finish 12th grade with a year less of school than the national average. To make matters worse, schools are able to get away with partially scheduling a majority of high school students. Even if only one student in a high school had a full-schedule, that school would be credited as offering a full school year – and schools took advantage. Frustrated parent advocates, including many Stand members, elevated this issue until the Oregon Board of Education strengthened the requirements. They also changed several other loopholes related to instructional time.
- Appointed superintendent: Oregon needs a strong leader with a clear vision at the helm of our public schools. In the 2011 session, Stand supported legislation that made the State Superintendent of Public Instruction an appointed (rather than elected) position. This allows Oregon to attract educators and the best candidates to this important job.
- Reducing standardized testing: Then State Sen. Suzanne Bonamici and Stand for Children worked closely with the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) to craft legislation to ensure that the statewide standardized test is being used properly so that schools maximize student learning time. The law ensures that students who are proficient on their first attempt do not have to retake the test.
Stand has also seen much success at the local level. Read more about those here.