Report: StudentsFirst, Romney First

studentsfirst_romneyfirst_cover.jpgIn April of 2012, an organization called StudentsFirst NY (SFNY) was unveiled. It pledged to continue Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s agenda by raising $50 million over the next five years to exert political control over the New York City schools and influence elections.1 It is the New York chapter of the national StudentsFirst campaign run by Michelle Rhee, former chancellor of Washington, DC public schools. Over the past few months, researchers affiliated with New Yorkers for Great Public Schools, a citywide coalition of parents, teachers, students, and local leaders, have examined the inner workings of StudentsFirst NY. We have looked at the internal structure and policy positions of StudentsFirst NY, and tracked the political contributions of board members and funders to develop a clearer picture of the organization’s priorities and agenda. This report is the result of that investigative effort. Analyzing evidence from campaign
disclosure forms, tax filings, government records, news reports, and other sources, it reveals five key things:


• StudentsFirst NY Board Members and funders are contributing over $2 million to Mitt Romney and Super PACs
working to defeat President Obama;
• StudentsFirst NY is using a complex web of multiple tax designations and different names to shield donors and
funders from scrutiny on campaign contributions and political activities;
• StudentsFirst NY is out of touch economically and ideologically with the education stakeholders—the students,
parents, communities, and educators—it claims to represent in New York City;• StudentsFirst NY is supporting market-driven restructuring and privatization of schools that goes even further
than what Mayor Bloomberg has implemented in the past decade;
• StudentsFirst NY is using a plan developed by Bain & Company and advocating actions that will treat public
schools the way Romney’s Bain Capital treated companies.

Click here to download the report.

 

The following NYGPS partners signed on to this report and collaborated on all drafting and research:
Alliance for Quality Education
Citizen Action of New York
New York Communities for Change

Other organizations that spoke out against StudentsFirst's education agenda and the excessive influence of its money on education policy in New York in conjunction with the release of this report, are:
Brooklyn Movement Center
Change the Stakes
Coalition for Educational Justice
Coalition for Asian-American Children and Families
Community Voices Heard
El Puente
Fort Greene SNAP
La Fuente/New York Civic Participation Project
Mirabal Sisters Cultural and Community Center
Mothers on the Move
Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition
Parent Voices NY
Urban Youth Collaborative
VOCAL
 

 

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