Rhee Announces StudentsFirst Presence at Cornell, Morehouse, Ohio State and U. of San Diego
ITHACA, N.Y., October 18, 2011 - StudentsFirst has launched a new program to work with college students on reforming America’s public school system. StudentsFirst On Campus will harness the energy of today’s college students to come up with new solutions to the problems facing America’s schools.
For too long, our education system has been failing kids as measured by international and domestic test scores, high school graduation rates and achievement gaps between kids in poverty and their wealthier peers. And, for too long, the current system has been focused on the interests of the grownups in the system rather than those of students.
Given the evident need to reform the current system, StudentsFirst On Campus will help cultivate new ideas and a new generation of leaders to fight for reform.
StudentsFirst CEO and Founder Michelle Rhee rolled out the new program in a visit to her alma mater, Cornell University, Tuesday evening.
“It is an honor to work with students here at Cornell and elsewhere on this critical new program,” Rhee said. “We know the status quo isn’t serving our kids, and we need a new way of thinking about education and a new generation of leadership to bring about that change.”
Campus directors for the new program will work with the student bodies at their schools and with local communities to galvanize support for education reform and contribute ideas to the debate.
Campus directors have already been named at Cornell, Morehouse College, The Ohio State University, and the University of San Diego. StudentsFirst is now accepting applications through its website for additional campus directors.
In a rare joint statement, Raj Kannapan, the President of Cornell Republicans, and Tony Montgomery, President of Cornell Democrats said: “Education is one of the most critical issues facing our country, and youth can play a vital role in the discussion. We, the students of Cornell, are determined to get involved in the search for solutions to the challenges facing American schools today.”
Former D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee launched StudentsFirst in December to bring about reforms that help improve student learning by advocating for policies that place children’s interests ahead of others. The grassroots, bipartisan movement seeks to mobilize parents, teachers, students and others to overhaul outdated policies that aren’t working for kids and are holding them back from receiving the 21st Century education they need and our country depends on them receiving. StudentsFirst is headquartered in Sacramento, California.