Jeb Bush, the “other” Bush son, who is also known as the former governor of Florida, made a stop in Connecticut yesterday to speak at the Connecticut Policy Institute, a “think-tank” formed by former gubernatorial Tom Foley.
After getting done calling unions a “conflict of interest,” Bush went on to salute Governor Malloy’s “Education Reform” legislation.
According to the news coverage in CT Newsjunkie, Bush told the audience that, “It looked like [Malloy’s bill] got watered down a little bit because the status quo forces are pretty strong and powerful, at least there’s the perception that they are. But I think that is a success that you’ve started on the journey.”
Jeb Bush’s claim is that the education reform package that he pushed through in Florida has dramatically improved the quality of education in his state, as measured by standardized test scores.
Of course, that statement doesn’t remotely describe the truth, but honesty has never been a particularly important trait with some in the Bush family.
Bush, who formed his own “education reform” group called, Foundation for Excellence in Education, bills himself as one of the nation’s top “education reformers.” Recently he joined Michelle Rhee at the Republican Nation Convention to co-host a viewing of the new anti-teacher movie, “Won’t Back Down”
Meanwhile, Florida’s State Board of Education continues to push a reform agenda that includes the massive expansion of charter schools, virtual schools, more standardized testing and stricter “teacher evaluation” systems.
Although a recent investigative report in the Miami Herald found that “86 percent of charter schools do not have any disabled or special education students…despite state and federal laws that require charter schools to give equal access to these students,” Bush remains a champion of “choice.”
In a speech to the Republican National Convention this year Bush said, “Everywhere in our lives, we get the chance to choose…Go down any supermarket aisle – you’ll find an incredible selection of milk. You can get whole milk, 2% milk, low-fat milk or skim milk. Organic milk and milk with extra Vitamin D. There’s flavored milk- chocolate, strawberry or vanilla – and it doesn’t even taste like milk. They even make milk for people who can’t drink milk…Shouldn’t parents have that kind of choice in schools?”
And to the issue of standardized testing, more than 60% of Florida’s school districts have now signed onto the national petition demanding that government rely less on high-stakes standardized testing. [PS, if you haven't signed onto the anti-standardized testing petition being circulated Parents Across America - Connecticut Chapter, please click here: http://www.change.org/petitions/reduce-the-use-of-standardized-testing-in-connecticut]
Oh, and as an aside, and not surprisingly, as to the recent teacher strike in Chicago, Bush called it “outrageous.”
From the news reports on Bush’s visit, it appears that no one from the Malloy Administration was there to accept the former Florida Governor’s accolades.
For more coverage of Bush’s visit see CT Newsjunkie at http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/ctnj.php/archives/entry/former_florida_governor_praises_cts_education_reform_efforts/?utm_source=Coffee+and+Politics+No.+298+Sept+20%2C+2012&utm_campaign=Issue+298+%7C+Morning+Coffee+%26+Politics%3A+Election+Drama+Unfolds+In+Court&utm_medium=email