• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Governor Bush to Hold Class in Florida

    This Friday, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush will join President Obama and Education Secretary Arne Duncan at Miami Central High School to discuss President Obama’s education agenda. Bush, whose sweeping education reform agenda led to monumental gains in student achievement in Florida, told the Miami Herald that he plans to promote the Florida reform model to the Administration during the visit:

    Because of high expectations for students, hard-edge policies that focus schools on learning and an array of choices for families, the Sunshine State is leading the nation in rising student achievement. … I look forward to sharing Florida’s model for student success with President Obama and Secretary Duncan.

    Obama and Duncan should take away an important lesson from their visit with Bush: Florida’s educational successes have come in spite of—not because of—federal intervention.

    Beginning in 1999, under the tenure of Bush, Florida implemented a common-sense A–F grading scale for schools and school districts, crafted strong state standards, ended social promotion, and allowed for alternative teacher certification and merit pay. Florida also began providing school choice options for special needs and low-income students and now has the largest virtual school in the country.

    By contrast, attempts to improve academic achievement and narrow achievement gaps from Washington—from the War on Poverty beginning in 1965 to No Child Left Behind—have proven ineffective and costly. Florida has become a laboratory for reform and, thanks to the genius of federalism, has shown that it’s states, not the federal government, that are best equipped to improve academic achievement.

    Washington cannot take credit for Florida’s gains in academic achievement: Florida students have demonstrated the largest gains on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) in the nation since 2003, when all 50 states began taking NAEP exams.

    The Department of Education cannot assume responsibility for Florida’s success at narrowing the achievement gap: Between 1998 and 2009, the average score for black students in reading increased by 12 points. In Florida, it increased by 25 points—twice the gains of the national average. If black students nationwide had made the same amount of progress as black students in Florida, the fourth-grade reading gap between black and white would be approximately half the size it is today. Just as with black students, Florida’s Hispanic students made twice as much progress as the national average for Hispanics over that time period.

    The federal government cannot applaud itself for the number of Florida students taking and passing Advanced Placement exams: In 2009, 40 percent of Florida’s public school students took an AP exam, compared to just 26.5 percent nationally. In 2009, 21.3 percent of those test-takers in Florida earned at least a grade “3” on an AP exam during their high school careers, compared to 15.9 percent of test-takers nationally.

    Yet Obama and Duncan—despite decades of federal failure—will likely once again try to dictate education policy from Washington.

    The Administration’s fiscal year 2012 budget increases funding for the Department of Education to $77.4 billion—a 20 percent increase over 2010 levels. At the same time, President Obama has been encouraging states to adopt national education standards and tests and has been bankrolling the proposal through Race to the Top grants.

    Florida is an example of what a state with strong, dedicated leaders can achieve. The Sunshine State is accomplishing what education-reform advocates have been striving for: to narrow achievement gaps and to raise academic achievement for all children. Obama and Duncan should see Florida as an example of what is possible if state and local leaders are empowered to define their states’ educational priorities. They should also see Florida as a lesson in the limits of Washington’s ability to affect meaningful education reform—and should move forward with federalism as a guiding principle in how Washington approaches education.

    Posted in Education [slideshow_deploy]

    10 Responses to Governor Bush to Hold Class in Florida

    1. George Colgrove, VA says:

      We need to be careful in considering Jeb Bush for president. I think this country has seen enough damage caused by this family. "W" had some good virtues in his determination against terror, but all in all, his investment in fighting terror ultimately got us deep into debt. Both Bushes grew government both in spending and number of feds. Both Bushes made big money for their contributors. "W" made the federal workforce the most expensive group of workers on the planet. No – I think there is a lot with this family that we want to avoid. Neither were conservatives and wore the lable of RINO pretty well.

      Jeb in cohorts with the Obama administration (Duncan) is proving he is a RINO as well.

      Education is not a federal concern.

    2. Leon Lundquist, Dura says:

      To insist on failure is a crime against humanity. For fifty years the Progressives have been using the government to wreck the American Curriculum! Democracy depends upon Americans being educated to the level of Kings! We are unique among the Earth's peoples as Citizen Sovereigns. All along every American thing has been undermined with that crazy Liberal Arts Education. They were educating us for Communism, that's all. Furthermore, making us pay exorbitant amounts of money for our Indoctrination!

      American Education has been wrecked intentionally! Research University Of Chicago Teachers' College! It was over run with Communists in the Seventies. Same with the AMA! We have Junk Education Science, pure junk. Hyperactivity used to be normal, that is horrifying when you think our geniuses are all being drugged out of their 'attention deficit disease.' I don't think it is funny! But that's how Obama got elected, Americans were never taught Critical Thinking and now they bought Pie In The Sky! Good for Jeb Bush! If only we didn't have so far to go to restore American Education!

      Will Americans buy Obama's new 'big lie?' The "American Dream?" (Meaning Socialism of course!)

    3. Pingback: Obama: America’s future tied to funding education reforms – AHN | All Headline News – BIGJUNCTION.INFO

    4. Pingback: With a Bush at his side, Obama promotes education – Maximum Edge – BIGJUNCTION.INFO

    5. Pingback: Obama defends education spending hikes – CNN International – BIGJUNCTION.INFO

    6. Pingback: With a Bush at his side, Obama promotes education – Grand Forks Herald – BIGJUNCTION.INFO

    7. Pingback: Obama praises Jeb Bush on education reform – Washington Post – BIGJUNCTION.INFO

    8. Pingback: Obama, Jeb Bush make strange bedfellows at Florida school event – Los Angeles Times – BIGJUNCTION.INFO

    9. Pingback: Obama, Jeb Bush share stage, educational philosophies at Miami Central appearance – Palm Beach Post – BIGJUNCTION.INFO

    10. Leon Lundquist, Dura says:

      Ya' know, George, you're right about Jeb the RINO. Have you contemplated the Democrats In Name Only? I say the whole damned Democratic Party was usurped by Communists! The big joke is that the Democrats still don't know it! DINOs and RINOs have made the rules for so long we actually have the first American Communist Administration! And laugh! Nobody knows it!

      I really liked your long blog about the words of corruption, thanks for your contributions. With all those patriots out there blogging on our website, I am proud to be HF! The thing about RINOs is 1) they are blind and 2) they run around stamping out fires (that is the DINOs run around lighting fires and the RINOs stomp them out, but little is done toward Liberty)!

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.