Jeb Bush at the Capitol to talk to legislators about education

Senate Media Services
Florida’s Education Reform Efforts (36:30) – Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush talks about his state’s education reform efforts enacted during his tenure. Governor Bush appeared Tuesday, April 26th, before legislative leaders and a panel of education legislators in Room 15 of the Capitol.

11:30 a.m. – Press conference (50:20) – Following his presentation on Florida’s education reform efforts, Governor Jeb Bush meets with the media Tuesday, April 26th. Following, DFL education committee members meet with the Capitol press corps to offer their views on Florida’s reforms.

Bush was also scheduled to meet with Governor Mark Dayton. There are components of the Florida model in the E-12 finance bill (grading schools) and likely the policy bill, for example, HF1487 (Myrha) proposing the retention of third graders was heard for the first time by House Education Reform Tuesday, April 26.

Florida Resources:
Strategy Session #4 Exit to Excellence: Florida’s Formula for Student Success – Lessons for the Nation, Foundation for Excellence in Education presentation at the National Summit on Education Reform, November 2010.

Friedman Foundation Continues to Promote Flawed Florida Reform Research – Earlier review found data were misused, conclusions untenable, National Education Policy Center, February 22, 2011.

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PISA: Grade repetition – What does it mean for education systems? – In countries where more students repeat grades, overall performance tends to be lower and social background has a stronger impact on learning outcomes than in countries where fewer students repeat grades. The same outcomes are found in countries where it is more common to transfer weak or disruptive students out of a school. Beyond that, having students repeat grades can be very costly for countries. In Belgium, the Netherlands and Spain, the cost of using grade repetition for one age group is equivalent to 10% or more of the annual national expenditure on primary- and secondary-school education. Countries with fewer options to transfer students use other means to work with struggling students, such as giving more autonomy to schools to design curricula and assessments, July 2011.

Review of “Florida Formula for Student Achievement: Lessons for the Nation” – The Foundation for Educational Excellence’s PowerPoint presentation is an advocacy tool designed for advancing a particular set of reform proposals. Significant flaws invalidate this work, National Education Policy Center, June 2011.

Myhra wants students reading at grade level before advancing – Myhra introduced a third-grade literacy bill that includes a provision requiring extra steps to pass students from third grade to fourth if test results show they’re not reading at grade level. Her original bill, introduced in April, would have required that those students be held back unless they meet one of several exceptions, such as a disability or limited English proficiency. She has since softened the language to allow parents of substandard readers to promote their children to fourth grade by providing written approval, Thisweek Newspapers, May 19, 2011.

A Show of Force – Education Professors Speak Out Against State Broadside of Public Education – While the Florida Legislature has been focused on overhauling education policy, those who actually know something about the subject – education professors — have been largely ignored. But a group of academics in Jacksonville isn’t waiting to be invited into the discussion. The Education Policy Forum, a group of Jacksonville college professors with an interest in public education, aims to become a resource for local media and educational organizations interested in getting a different perspective on high stakes testing and school privatization. Worried that too many parents are buying into policies that have more to do with ideology and profits than with what’s good for children, the group is reaching out to the public in hopes of slowing, stalling and, ultimately, reversing the damage of these so-called “reforms,” Jacksonville Ledger, May 10, 2011.

Jeb Bush III: The voucher carve-out edition – When he called on the state Legislature earlier this week, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush credited the “threat of vouchers” with spurring progress in his state’s struggling schools. Given that we all know vouchers repeatedly have been ruled unconstitutional, rank and file Minnesotans might be wondering why Bush urged lawmakers to consider them. It seems a fissure has appeared in the case against vouchers. In a little-noted decision released earlier this month, the U.S. Supreme Court let stand an Arizona law that gives taxpayers a dollar-for-dollar tax credit for donations made to groups known as school tuition organizations, or STOs, that provide religious-school scholarships. The 5-4 decision did not declare vouchers constitutional; it held that taxpayers were not entitled to challenge them, MinnPost, April 29, 2011.

Jeb Bush II: The outtakes – During the reporting I did before Bush’s visit, I turned up lots of material that suggests that the next stage of the former governor’s reform campaign will take place in cyberspace and will involve further privatization. Companion bills now moving through the Florida Legislature would require — a key verb — students entering high school beginning next year to take at least one course online in order to graduate, MinnPost, April 28, 2011.

Minnesota Education Doesn’t Need Bush’s Help – In no way should Minnesota, with its rich educational history, take Florida’s lead in education policy. The Bush visit is a distraction and gimmick. If we want to continue our educational excellence, we must get back to what’s made Minnesota great: proper education investments and high teacher standards, Minnesota 2020, April 26, 2011.

Jeb Bush touts Florida school reforms to Capitol’s supportive GOP, skeptical DFL – Lawmakers in Washington, D.C. are virtually unanimous in calling George W. Bush’s No Child Left Behind Act a wholesale failure. Jeb Bush, by contrast, is in hot demand among conservative education reformers who are seeding statehouses from coast to coast with copycat legislation, MinnPost, April 26, 2011.

Jeb Bush tutors Minn. lawmakers in Florida education reforms – Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush was at the Minnesota Capitol Tuesday talking education reform, Minnesota Public Radio, April 26, 2011.

Former Fla. Gov. Jeb Bush talks education with Minn. lawmakers, DFLers reject suggestions – The lessons learned from a system of education reforms that improved low test scores and dismal graduation rates in Florida schools could benefit Minnesota, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush told Minnesota lawmakers Tuesday, Star Tribune, April 26, 2011.

No fourth grade without adequate reading skills – A Florida plan promoting grade-level reading by the end of third grade – including retaining students in that grade instead of moving them on if they aren’t proficient in reading – could become law in Minnesota too, Session Daily, April 26, 2011.

Florida’s touted education data wither under scrutiny – You’d think, given the reams of data generated by all of the tests administered to the modern American schoolchild, that education policymakers might occasionally be able to point to a few objective, capital-T truths, MinnPost, February 17, 2011.