Florida

Putting Education Reform To The Test

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Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush

Jeb Bush: The Once and Future Reformer

Background

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush pioneered many of the education reforms the rest of the country is now discussing, including data-based school and teacher assessments, school choice and charter schools. Florida student standardized test scores improved after Bush took office in 1999. The federal Race To The Top grant program takes its cue from Florida.

Bush’s plan is based on six pillars:

  1. Grading schools on a simple A through F scale based on student standardized test scores.
  2. High-stakes testing.
  3. Requiring students to meet grade standards before promotion to a higher grade.
  4. Paying teachers based on student performance.
  5. New methods to credential teachers.
  6. Adding charter schools, private school vouchers (since struck down by a court) and online schools to offer parents more choices.

Critics, such as a June 2011 report from the National Education Policy Institute, argue there is no evidence that the reforms Bush supported led to improvement by Florida students. Still, the Foundation for Excellence in Education that Bush founded is a national advocate for education reform and Bush is the chief face of Republican-favored proposals — increasingly embraced by Democrats — many states are now considering.

Latest Posts

What Polling Says About Common Core And Jeb Bush’s Presidential Run

Former Gov. Jeb Bush visited a Hialeah charter school for National School Choice Week.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush took a first step toward becoming a 2016 presidential candidate Tuesday. And that has many asking how his position on education issues would affect both a Republican primary candidacy and, if Bush survives, a general election candidacy. Bush made education one of his top issues during his two terms as [...]

Bush: Florida Standards “Not Substantially Different” From Common Core

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush hit the campaign trail with current Gov. Rick Scott on Friday. Bush has been one of the nation’s most prominent supporters of the Common Core math and language arts standards adopted by dozens of states, including Florida. Scott? Not so much. After initially supporting the standards, Scott withdrew support for [...]

Republicans Have Made Up Their Minds About Common Core

Former Gov. Jeb Bush visited a Hialeah charter school for National School Choice Week.

The national Republican fight over Common Core math and language arts standards is over, and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and others supporting the standards have lost. That’s the conclusion of Vox writer Libby Nelson, based on a new Pew Research Center poll from last week. Pew Research Center data [...]

Remembering FCAT, 1995-2014

The Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test is dying, say Florida education officials. By this time next year, the FCAT will be replaced with a new, Common Core-aligned assessment. FCAT was born in 1995 in the humid June of a Tallahassee summer. The Florida Commission on Education Reform and Accountability under Gov. Lawton Chiles gave birth to the test. It was part of [...]

Despite Common Core, Columnist Says GOP Should Still Consider Jeb Bush

Republicans should give former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush a chance if he decides to run for president in 2016 — despite his support of Common Core education standards — George Will writes in The Washington Post: He will not, however, have the nomination handed to him on a silver salver. And the nomination fight would [...]

Checking The Claims In The New Ad About Florida Schools

10-16 CheckMark

Editor’s note: This post has been updated to clarify claims about Advanced Placement tests. This week, the Foundation for Excellence in Education began running a television ad in the Tampa Bay market touting Florida school progress. The ad serves two purposes: it argues Florida schools are improving, and that improvement is due to annual statewide [...]

Bush Foundation Promoting Common Education Standards Online, On Air

3-19 CommonCoreCampaign

The education foundation founded by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has launched a new web site and advertising campaign to support the Common Core math and language arts standards facing criticism in many states. The campaign by the Foundation For Excellence in Education is called “Learn More. Go Further.” The web site features videos of [...]

Three Questions: Jeb Bush On The State Of Common Core And Testing In Florida

Former Gov. Jeb Bush visited classrooms, observed students using their iPads, and took questions from a debate class at a high school in Hialeah, Fla. this week. The tour of the Latin Builders Association Construction & Business Management Academy high school—which is the first charter opened with a business association—was part of National School Choice [...]

Documentary Takes On Common Core Standards

In a world of education policies run amok… That’s not the tagline for a new documentary about the Common Core State Standards, but it could be based on a trailer posted online. The documentary, “Building The Machine,” is scheduled for a February release and features many prominent critics. That includes Sandra Stotsky and Ze’ev Wurman, [...]

Influential Common Core Supporters Won’t Be At Florida Hearings Next Week

The Florida Department of Education has released a list of suggested changes to Florida's Common Core standards.

The Foundation for Florida’s Future and Foundation for Excellence in Education, influential and public supporters of shared English, literacy and math standards known as Common Core, won’t be present at three public meetings next week debating the standards. That’s because staff will be at a two-day national education summit hosted by the nonprofits’ founder, Florida [...]

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