Update: A Kinder, Gentler StudentsFirst In 2015?
Over the weekend, newish StudentsFirst head Jim Blew sent out an email explaining the need for what he describes as "controversial, sometimes uncomfortable work" and outlining some of the his plans for the organization in 2015.
"At its core, StudentsFirst is a political and advocacy operation targeting a few states," writes Blew, who identifies himself and much of the senior staff as Democrats, with a common focus on performance systems and choice.
As has been reported previously, StudentsFirst is pulling back in some places and staying out of others and so won't be operating in big states like Texas, Florida, Illinois, Indiana and Louisiana.
At the national level, says Blew, "We will continue to speak the truth about our broken system and the need for policy changes, but we will also endeavor to do so with diplomacy and without malice." He says that teachers unions and their allies spent an estimated $500M over the last two years to block reform and push their own ideas.
Related posts: Rhee Departure Leaves Movement Without Ravitch-Like Figure; Reviewing StudentsFirst's Union Positions; Rhee Takes On Testing Opt-Outers; Insult-Hurling Coming Mostly From Reform Critics; Too Much Focus On Testing, Agrees Rhee; New PBS Documentary Humanizes Rhee's Tenure; Rhee Cites DC Precedent On Collaboration. Image used with permission.