Transforming Education

December 27, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments
Studentsfirst.org
One year ago we launched an organization to put the needs of students first.Before we began, it was just a few of us, united by the belief that every child in America deserves equal access to a high-quality education. But we knew we weren’t alone.Over the last year, parents, teachers, students, and concerned citizens from every state have joined us. In the coming weeks, we hope to reach 1 million members taking action in their communities on behalf of students. Challenging the status quo wasn’t easy, but you did it.

There is much work ahead, but right now take a moment to reflect on all we’ve done in 2011 — helping reform more than 50 policies in seven states and bringing student-centered reforms to 8.7 million children.

Members like you have already made a huge difference. In Nevada, you helped pass transformative education reform and eliminate the crippling policy of “last in, first out” (LIFO). That provided a successful, bipartisan blueprint for reform in states like Michigan and Maine. In California, you enabled parents to utilize their right to transform a failing school, and when we waded into legislative politics, like in New Jersey, you elected pro-student candidates who will help pave the way for reform. All this has been accomplished in just Year One.

We have significant plans for 2012. Our members will engage in new reform efforts in populous states like New York, Georgia, and New Jersey. We will head to Washington, DC to work with reform advocates on No Child Left Behind, ensuring that the revised law includes meaningful teacher evaluations and accountability measures.

In this election year, we will focus on turning over anti-reform seats. The message our members are sending has already resonated with voters, helping a new brand of grassroots pro-reform leaders to emerge. Going forward, candidates and public officials will be able to take courageous positions against the status quo, knowing we will have their backs.

The defenders of the status quo are ready to fight us for every inch of progress we make — but we won’t be intimidated. Our members won’t stop until every American child receives a world-class education.

Thank you for joining us for an incredible first year.

Sincerely,

Michelle Rhee
CEO and Founder
StudentsFirst

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