Bill Cosby joins Michelle Rhee’s group

Bill Cosby has joined the board of directors of StudentsFirst, the education reform group founded by Michelle Rhee.

In a statement emailed to StudentsFirst supporters a few minutes ago, Cosby, a school choice supporter, wrote: “Enough is enough. I’ve seen the statistics on where American students rank in the world. I’ve heard the stories of children being sent off to schools that are nothing more than dropout factories, and our youth end up back out on the street uneducated and unprepared for life. I refuse to sit back and watch this happen. That’s why I’m joining the board of StudentsFirst and will be working alongside you and StudentsFirst members across the nation to put children’s needs first.”

According to Education Week, StudentsFirst named other board members today, including Connie Chung, Joel Klein, Roland Martin and Jalen Rose.

Diane Ravitch called Cosby’s move “the worst news of the day.”

“This is a coup for her (Michelle Rhee) in her efforts to demean our nation’s teachers and promote the privatization of American public education,” she wrote on her blog. “He is clearly uninformed about what she is doing. If you know how to contact him, do so. This is not in character for him.”

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BY Ron Matus

Ron Matus is director for policy and public affairs at Step Up for Students and a former editor of redefinED. He joined Step Up in February 2012 after 20 years in journalism, including eight years as an education reporter with the Tampa Bay Times (formerly the St. Petersburg Times). Ron can be reached at or (727) 451-9830. Follow him on Twitter @RonMatus1 and on facebook at


Bryan Bouton

I’m reminded of a joke from Eddie Murphy that I will paraphrase now: “Tell Bill to have a f**king coke and a smile…an shut the h**l up.”

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