How $tudent$ 4 Education Reform Jumped the Shark

RALLY SWAG—SFER activists from Columbia and NYU wore hats summing up their demand that city’s teachers hurry up and agree to be evaluated on the basis of their students’ test scores.

The crowd may not have been much, but as rallies go, this one was a big deal. Impassioned young people, bundled against the New York cold, risking everything for a cause they believe in, one that, if their voices are heard, could transform the lives of millions of poor Americans. I’m talking, of course, about the protest by fast food workers, who gathered in front of burger joints across the city  to raise a collective middle finger to an industry that pays crap wages and offers few opportunities for advancement. As for that OTHER rally in NYC this week, by students at Columbia and NYU who were demanding that teachers be evaluated on the basis of their students’ test scores, it was, well, meh… Continue reading →

$tudent$ for Education Reform

Members of Connecticut chapters of Students for Education Reform. $FER spent more than $15,000 to bus 60 members to a rally in support of CT Governor Malloy’s education reform bill.

Reader, today we revisit what has become perhaps my very phavorite rephorm group: Students for Education Reform. As you are no doubt aware, students are on the march from Chile, where they are demanding equal access to higher education, to Quebec, where striking students recently brought down the government for proposing a $325 PER YEAR tuition hike. You’ll be happy to know that US students are demanding education reform too, but alas it is of a somewhat different variety. Students for Education reform or $FER now has more than 100 chapters on campuses across the country, all focused on enacting what can only be described as Daddy’s education agenda: a mishmash of achievement gap fever, anti-union rhetoric, and edu-jargon intoxicating enough to make even an Ivy Leaguer—especially an Ivy Leaguer—swoon. Continue reading →

A Little OxyContin with that #Edreform?


Students for Education Reform recruited a director of OxyContin-maker Purdue Pharma to join its board because no one from Crack, Inc. was available.

Regular readers know that EduShyster is WILD about Democrats for Education Reform, young country clubbers who bring the same laser-like focus to closing the achievement gap that they once brought to their squash and lacrosse matches. Today we turn our attention to DFER Man’s striving younger sibling: Students for Education Reform.

SFER’s story will sound instantly familiar to anyone who has ever been a young campus activist, fueled by little more than righteous passion and the occasional spleef. This ragtag group got its start just last year, and within months found itself with a posh Manhattan address, a board heavy with venture capitalists and hedge funders, and “amazing partners” like–drumroll please–Stand for Children, Teach for America and 50CAN, which bills itself as the 50-State Campaign for Achievement Now and operates something called 50CAN University or “Hogworts for Ed Reformers.” Continue reading →