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letters | outside money casts shadow over mayoral race

Are they standing for children or stomping on unions?

The education advocacy group Stand for Children this week promised $500,000 to John Connolly’s campaign for mayor, and after being criticized by his opponents, Connolly publicly declined the pledge (“Connolly rejects outside funding,” Page A1, Aug. 22).

Last year Stand for Children rammed a new teacher evaluation system through the state Legislature. This pressure group’s agenda had been opposed by Massachusetts teachers unions, the state secretary of education, the state PTA, and state associations of school librarians and special education administrators. So, this group says it’s “for children,” but by and large, it has been opposed by actual child advocates.

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I worked with Stand for Children 10 years ago, when it was a grass-roots organization working for public school funding. Teachers unions worked with them, too. Then we went our separate ways. I decided to become a public school teacher. The organization has taken millions of dollars from corporate donors, and attacks people who do what I do.

Several million people like me do the job of teaching all of America’s children. Our unions are our honest representatives. Stand for Children is not a grass-roots organization representing parents anymore. People should ask whom it is working for; I don’t think it is for children.

Tom Díaz


The writer is a former member and chairman of the Lexington School Committee and is currently a social studies teacher in the Boston Public Schools.

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