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Rhee's StudentsFirst Names New, High-Profile Board

At long last, the education advocacy group begun by former D.C. Chancellor Michelle Rhee has named a new, permanent board of directors.

In addition to Rhee herself, the board members include:

• comedian and school choice advocate Bill Cosby;
• decorated television journalist Connie Chung;
Jennifer Johnson, an executive vice president and CEO for Franklin Resources, an investment-management organization;
• former New York City schools chancellor Joel Klein, now the CEO of News Corporation's Education Division;
Roland Martin, a syndicated journalist, columnist, and CNN analyst;
Jalen Rose, an ESPN/ABC analyst, philanthropist, and former pro basketball player who helped to found a charter school in Detroit;
Blair Taylor, the chief community officer for Starbucks coffee and a former CEO of the Los Angeles Urban League.

It's an interesting mix of folks, most of whom have been involved in various school-choice, civil rights, or educational endeavors.

The board will be announced to StudentsFirst's membership via email today.

Begun in 2010, StudentsFirst is one of a new breed of education advocacy groups that are using a sophisticated, tiered structure to engage in a variety of activities, including disseminating educational materials, lobbying, and supporting political candidates.

The group's interim board members included David Coleman, a lead English/Language-arts writer of the Common Core State Standards initiative.

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