A WSJ article by Stephanie Banchero describes StudentsFirst, an education-reform grassroots organization, started by ex-chancellor of DC schools, Michelle Rhee. Highlights:
Former Washington, D.C., schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee launched a national advocacy group Monday to support political candidates and school districts that embrace substantial changes in public education.
Through the group, StudentsFirst, Ms. Rhee hopes to raise $1 billion to dole out to political candidates who support her policies and to local school districts that adopt the group’s prescriptions, such as linking teacher tenure to student test scores.
“We are trying to shift the balance of power in the education landscape away from the powerful groups who want to keep the status quo,” Ms. Rhee said…. “We are going to be the group that is advocating on behalf of kids.”
She wants the bulk of contributions to come via her website, studentsfirst.org.
Ms. Rhee stepped down from the Washington job in October after Mayor Adrian Fenty, who appointed her, was defeated in the Democratic primary by Vincent Gray. In her three years in Washington, Ms. Rhee became the most vocal proponent of a controversial national movement for transforming K-12 schools.
Ms. Rhee hopes to attract more than one million supporters nationwide who will embrace her policies and push them locally…
“This will not be for the faint of heart,” she said.
StudentsFirst will donate to political candidates who support legislation in line with its agenda.