Today, Michelle Rhee announced that she has started an organization called “Students First.” Its’ mission: “To build a national movement to defend the interests of children in public education and pursue transformative reform, so that America has the best education system in the world.”
The Students First mission page lists four core beliefs of the organization:
1. We Believe: Great Teachers can make a tremendous difference for students of every background; all children deserve outstanding teachers.
2. We Believe: Attending a great school should be a matter of fact, not luck; every family should be able to choose an excellent school.
3. We Believe: Public dollars belong where they make the biggest difference–on effective instructional programs; we must fight ineffective practices and bureaucracy.
4. We Believe: Parent and family involvement is key to increased student achievement, but the entire community must be engaged in the effort to improve our schools.
The site offers statistics on the state of education in America today, as well as a blog and an action center. The organization pledges to set “concrete goals” for education reform based on member input. Perhaps most importantly, Students First provides the opportunity for educators, parents, students, and other concerned citizens to connect with one another and get involved.
This is a bold move coming from Washington, D. C.’s former chancellor of the public school system. Hopefully, Students First will carry on Rhee’s quest to reform education in an effective way.
Allie Duzett is the Director of Strategic Operations for Accuracy in Media.
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