May 172012
 

Most education advocacy organizations post a list of board members on their website. For example, Education Reform Now, Stand for Children, 50CAN, Fairtest, Democrats for Education Reform, and the Alliance for School Choice all make information about board members available on their website.

StudentsFirst does not make this information available on their website. However, the IRS applications for StudentsFirst Institute (501c3) and StudentsFirst (501c4) list the following board members1:

  • Michelle Rhee – President
  • David Coleman – Treasurer
  • Ann-Margaret Michael – Secretary
  • Jason Zimba – Director

Coleman, Michael, and Zimba all work for Student Achievement Partners. And yes, that’s the David Coleman from the Common Core State Standards (nice profile from Dana Goldstein here). Zimba was involved in the writing of the math standards for CCSS. Michael is the operations manager for SAP and Coleman’s assistant.

I’m not pointing this out to suggest a conspiracy is afoot. But it’s strange that such a high-profile reformer with a serious budget couldn’t put together a more diverse board from the get-go. And why no disclosure on the website?

Update (5/19/12): A tweet from Coleman’s newly-created Twitter account: “@studentsfirsthq @rweingarten I told Students First months ago that my service on Board would end; was told new Board to be named in June”

  1. IRS applications are available via the NY Charities Website.
 May 17, 2012  Posted by on May 17, 2012  Add comments

  9 Responses to “What’s with StudentsFirst’s Board?”

  1. Rhee wants to continue to pretend for as long as possible to as many as possible that Students(not)First is a grassroots organization. In addition, I’m sure they will still fight tooth and nail to avoid disclosure of their funders now that the courts have said that info must be disclosed by 501 (c) 4′s. The pretensions of being non partisan will be severely eroded when that happens.

  2. [...] Coleman at all. I just discovered that he was the treasurer for Michelle Rhee’s Students First. (http://kenmlibby.com/?p=300) I assume that means he supports what she advocates. One doesn’t join the inner circle of a group [...]

  3. [...] Common Core, Mr. Coleman is/was a board member at Michele Rhee’s Students First organization (What’s with StudentsFirst’s Board?). I can’t think why he’d leave something important like that off his curriculum vitae. [...]

  4. [...] doesn’t mention is that he worked with Rhee at her anti-union StudentsFirst organization, once serving as treasurer of the organization (you can read more about that here at Ken Libby’s blog. [...]

  5. [...] doesn’t mention is that he worked with Rhee at her anti-union StudentsFirst organization, once serving as treasurer of the organization (you can read more about that here at Ken Libby’s blog. [...]

  6. [...] was a founding board member and treasurer of Michelle Rhee’s StudentsFirst, along with Jason Zemba, who led the writing [...]

  7. […] David Coleman is credited publicly as being the “architect” of the process. He, presumably, had a large role in writing the English Language Arts standards; Jason Zimba of Bennington College was the lead author for the math standards.  Interestingly, David Coleman and Jason Zimba were also members of Michelle Rhee’s StudentsFirst original board of directors. […]

  8. […] To read the full post and comments click here […]

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