Students For Education Reform
- New York
Students for Education Reform (SFER) is a student-led movement to end educational injustice. For too long, policymakers and powerful political interests have not heard our stories about the reality of the K-12 education system. As young people, we can tell stories of the truth of the present – and of the hope for a just future.
We believe social change starts with these stories: SFER empowers students to take action stemming from their own educational experiences, acting with a relentless optimism for a better future in which educational equity exists for all children, regardless of race or background. We aim to be a powerful force for K-12 education policy and political change, through campus chapters that work at the national, state, and local levels to advocate for great teachers and quality school choices for all kids.
What started as two students working for educational justice in their own communities eventually grew from one college campus to twenty, and from twenty to over 140 undergraduate chapters at two- and four-year colleges in over 30 states. Our founders launched Students for Education Reform as college freshmen, each bringing a different perspective to the fight for educational equity: Alexis Morin is a lifelong public school student and was a local school board member in her Massachusetts district, and Catharine Bellinger is an aspiring teacher from Washington, DC. Together, Alexis and Catharine created a platform for college students to share their stories on one campus; by working with peers across the country, they grew SFER nationally during their sophomore and junior years. SFER’s members now represent the diversity of the American K-12 education system: the vast majority of us attended local district schools, while many others attended schools of choice – charter schools, parochial schools, and private schools. Together, we know what’s true, and what’s possible.
As we grew, we learned the power our voices could have. We began with story-telling, and through sharing stories across chapters and states, we learned to organize not just for voice, but for student power. Collectively, we have taken actions hundreds of times – through public asks, speaking the truth to those in power; through amplifying our stories in the media; and through grassroots lobbying work. Now, we are organizing for action with even more urgency – demanding better schools and a great education system in every state and neighborhood.
Every great social justice movement in this country has had college students at the forefront – now, we are standing on the shoulders of giants as we lead the student movement for educational equity.
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