On Tuesday, May 7, Buffalo residents voted two StudentsFirstNY-supported candidates to the Buffalo School Board. As reported by The Buffalo News, StudentsFirstNY supported James Sampson, the president and CEO of Gateway-Longview child services agency, and Jason McCarthy, a manager at Hutch's restaurant:
"The leader of StudentsFirstNY, the state chapter of a national school reform group headed by former Washington, D.C., School Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee, said Wednesday that his group gave $10,000 to Sampson and $2,500 to McCarthy."
Both Sampson and McCarthy won the election despite strong opposition from the Buffalo Teachers Federation. In The Buffalo News, StudentsFirstNY's Acting Executive Director Glen Weiner explained why the organization decided to support these two candidates:
"The group identified Sampson and McCarthy as 'like-minded,' he said, based on their positions on several issues. He cited charter schools and issues related to teacher evaluations as two of them.
"'In terms of teacher quality, we know Buffalo had that side deal attached to their teacher-evaluation system,' Weiner said. 'If we had a reform-minded board with Jim Sampson along with Jay McCarthy, I think you wouldn't have seen that kind of undermining of an effective system.'"