For Immediate Release | Aug 9, 2011
StudentsFirst, Better Education for Kids, Inc. Enter into Exclusive Partnership in New Jersey
Both organizations will join forces to promote non-partisan, common sense education reform in New Jersey
Sacramento, California, New Brunswick, NJ (August 9, 2011) StudentsFirst and Better Education for Kids, Inc. (B4K) announced today that the two non-profit organizations would enter into an exclusive partnership to reform New Jersey’s public school system.
B4K and StudentsFirst share the same vision – bipartisan, common sense education reform that puts students first, empowers parents and rewards great teachers and principals.
“B4K has established itself as a leader in driving the education reform conversation in New Jersey, and StudentsFirst is excited to join forces to make sure New Jersey students are put first in the state's education decisions,” said StudentsFirst founder and CEO Michelle Rhee.
"We have an opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of New Jersey kids. We are excited to join with Michelle Rhee and StudentsFirst to help make that difference now," said Derrell Bradford, Executive Director of Better Education for Kids. "StudentsFirst brings proven success and a mobilized, empowered grassroots community to the movement to significantly improve New Jersey schools so that they work for all of our students rather than the entrenched interests."
StudentsFirst is a national grassroots movement of students, parents, educators and concerned citizens mobilized to ensure children's needs are at the forefront of public education policies. Launched in early December by Michelle Rhee, former Washington, DC Public Schools chancellor, StudentsFirst has signed up more than 500,000 members and released a comprehensive policy agenda that transcends party lines. StudentsFirst members, working with coalition partners and bipartisan support, have passed into law meaningful education reform in a number of states including Florida, Indiana, Maine, Michigan, Nevada, Ohio and Tennessee.
Newark Mayor Cory Booker has said of StudentsFirst: "The StudentsFirst agenda represents the type of bold, transformative change our nation's education systems need. As leaders, we must put politics aside and place the academic achievement of students front and center. Ensuring that all children have access to great teachers, excellent schools, and that parents and communities are meaningfully engaged should be a matter of fact, not simply left to chance. StudentsFirst is committed to making this a reality."
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has said of StudentsFirst's founder: "No one in America has been more clear that we must change our public education system from one that caters to the feelings of adults to one that prepares our children for the 21st century."
B4K is an independent voice for common-sense education reform in New Jersey. B4K stands for the proposition that the first priority of the New Jersey public school system must be the best interests of New Jersey students, not the special interests that dominate the status quo. To this end, every class must have an effective teacher and every school an effective principal, and teachers and principals should be given the necessary training and resources to be effective. Public policy and all administrative and personnel policies should support these goals. Parents must be empowered with access to data and other information to hold educators, leaders and elected officials accountable for their performance.
B4K is a 501(c)(4) organization under the Internal Revenue Code and is not affiliated with any political group or committee. Both Michelle Rhee and Dmitri Mehlhorn, Chief Operating Officer at StudentsFirst, will join the B4K Board of Trustees.