South Dakota notwithstanding, StudentsFirst, Michelle Rhee’s political action committee, says Election Day went pretty well for the reform causes and candidates they supported:
Overall, StudentsFirst-supported efforts – including both direct and independent expenditures - fared well this year. Supporting candidates on a bi-partisan basis, StudentsFirst had an eight-in-ten success rate. Importantly, these efforts sent a strong message that education reformers will have the resources to compete against special interest-backed candidates in future years.
In states where StudentsFirst’s organizing is highly active based on prior legislative pushes - Georgia, Michigan and Ohio - three StudentsFirst-supported ballot measures were also passed Tuesday night. StudentsFirst supported unsuccessful ballot efforts in Connecticut, as well as Idaho and South Dakota - two states where we did not have “boots-on-the-ground.”
While it is unlikely that StudentsFirst will be able to match the dollars available with those spent by forces vested in the status quo – the latest public disclosures shows teachers unions spent over $8 million in the 10 independent expenditure races and ballot initiatives StudentsFirst was involved in alone – we were able to help ensure reform-minded candidates and initiatives were highly competitive and produced results at a much more effective and efficient rate.