Everyone agrees that education reform represents one of the most important issues facing this country. And former Florida Republican Gov. Jeb Bush writes in a Wall Street Journal opinion piece
that the innovative policies implemented during his administration (1999-2007), provide a good starting point.
“Florida's experience in reform during the last decade gives us the road map to avoid this slow-moving economic calamity,” he explains. “In 1998, nearly half of Florida's fourth-graders were functionally illiterate. Today, 72 percent of them can read. Florida's Hispanic fourth-graders are reading as well or better than the average student in 31 other states and the District of Columbia. That is what I call a real game-changer.”
And what accounts for the success? “All Sunshine State students are held to the same standards,” Bush writes. “As we had hoped, more and more are exceeding expectations. Accountability must have a hard edge, which means that the responsibilities of educators must be clearly defined, easily understood and uniformly enforced.”
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