Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush’s influence on education is being felt across the country, where state lawmakers are eager to follow the reforms he instituted in the Sunshine State. The Republican has been traveling from New Jersey to Oregon championing vouchers and charter schools, The Miami Herald
Last week, the Bradley Foundation, a conservative group, recognized Bush’s efforts with its Bradley Prize, which comes with a $250,000 stipend.
“The reforms that he put in place during his two terms as Florida governor in many ways lead the country in elementary and secondary education,” said foundation President and CEO Michael W. Grebe. “He put in place programs that have clearly raised academic standards. It’s measurable, demonstrable. We’re also really impressed by what he continues to do as a private citizen. When he left office, he didn’t leave behind his work.”
Bush, who created the Foundation for Excellence in Education, has talked to governors and lawmakers in at least 17 states who are exploring legislation based on the “Florida model.” That includes using standardized testing to grade schools on an A-to-F scale, making reading a requirement of advancing to the fourth grade, using vouchers to pay for private schools and online courses.
“We’ve really moved the needle in Florida, and that’s been recognized,” Bush told the newspaper. “People are curious to know how we did it.”
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