The report did nothing to judge how well the schools were performing, only whether or not the states were following Michelle Rhee's prescription (and the prescription of her billionaire backers) and how schools should be run. In other words, if they had not taken steps eliminating teacher tenure, funding more charter schools, and providing vouchers to allow taxpayer money to be paid to private schools, states were flunked.
Now another organization, Parents Across America, has given StudentsFirst a failing grade.
The report card grades Rhee on her position on issues and on legislation she pushed in states across the country this year. Despite her ability to spend millions to hire professional lobbyists and flood the airways with ads, parents, teachers and community members were able to defeat her in Florida, Connecticut, Tennessee, Alabama, Minnesota, Missouri, and Iowa.Most of Rhee’s agenda runs counter to what parents identify as their top priorities, including small class sizes, less high-stakes testing, improving neighborhood schools, recruiting and retaining strong and experienced teachers, and giving parents a real voice in governing schools.“Rhee pushed to eliminate class size caps in Tennessee schools – and to cancel a reform that has proven to work. Luckily, the state’s parents were outraged and stopped this from happening. She falsely claims that she has over one million members nationwide, although countless individuals have found themselves wrongly listed as one of her supporters because they signed one of her deceptive petitions by mistake,” said Leonie Haimson, Executive Director of Class Size Matters, a New York-based affiliate of Parents Across America.Wendy Lecker of Parents Across America- Connecticut pointed out that “Despite about $700,000 spent by StudentsFirst in Connecticut, the rally at the State Capital where Rhee was the featured speaker drew only about 75 people.”
The problems with StudentsFirst's report card were addressed in a recent Turner Report post.