Putting Education Reform To The Test

Feedback Loop: Talking About Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney

Mike Coppola / Getty Images Entertainment

Jeb Bush with his wife, Columba.

This week we told you about former Gov. Jeb Bush’s national education role, and how many of the policies he’s taking to other states got their start in Florida thanks to a well-maintained political network.

We also told you that Bush’s ideas are seeing some resistance from Floridians.

Readers took to the debate.

Standardized tests are the backbone for holding schools and teachers accountable, and a guest commenter said they are a necessary tool despite their shortcomings:

The tests are designed to improve critical thinking and the children are taught to think critically and grade school is the place to start teaching them that.  The people who are ruining our education are the ones that enable our children and parents into the thinking that the tests are too hard for them.  We should be rising to the occasion to teach our children what needs to be taught to do well in the area of critical thinking and to compete in a global economy.  The enablers or supposed do gooders who are trying to lower the standards are not representative of a good majority of parents who want the children stretched and challenged and taught to think critically.

Csket agrees testing is needed, but believes the state should use existing tests rather than pay hundreds of millions to private contractors.:

I agree with you 100% we have it wrong and Millions of dollars are being wasted EVERY year by our State Leaders in Tallahassee.  Many tests exist that would greatly benefit our children.  … Why not have all high school students take the ACT/SAT (testing that actually matters to their future).  Private schools in the state use Norm Referenced test, IOWA and the PSAT to compare and diagnose where their children are performing.  I am a republican and I hate the waste that I see in Florida for the testing and creation of more tests.

Bruno_Behrend believes too many people are feeding on public education dollars, and favors cutting off their access to the government trough.

I am not involved in education reform to replace one set of rapacious interests with another. That said, we need to compare apples to apples, and look at the spending on ETS and other service providers.

One reform that I’ve argued for is the separation of testing and teaching. You can’t have a school district/school police itself. There are too many foxes in the hen house.

Again, this is why I am for universal, unrestricted vouchers. It is the ONLY reform the ends the hegemony of the “gov ed complex.”

We also wrote about Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s education plan, including one item that would allow open enrollment and erase school district boundaries.

Herb Smith points out a questions Romney’s plan does not answer:

The critical issue here is who would pay.  Would the inner city poor kid’s parents be stuck with paying for the transportation to the suburban school and also some tuition charges imposed because they have an out-of-district student?  Further, would the out-of-district parent get to choose the particular school in the suburban district?  That’s a privilege that even the taxpayers/residents of a district may not get.

Reader reaction is an important part of building StateImpact Florida’s education coverage. Feedback Loop will be a regular feature highlighting your questions, criticisms and comments.


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