Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush
is using the two foundations he heads and his many political connections to advance his vision of school reform across the country. The playbook includes vouchers for private schools, letter grades for every public school, and barring students from advancing to the fourth grade if they cannot read, The Washington Post reports
Bush is pushing those policies in states, raising his profile as one of the leaders on education reform. The Thomas B. Fordham Institute’s Michael Petrilli said Bush is “the standard-bearer. Those governors who are going to have religion on education reform are looking to him to be their mentor,” the Post said.
This past week, Gov. Susana Martinez, R-N.M., and Gov. Gary Herbert, R-Utah, signed bills to enact A-to-F school rating systems, following similar actions in Indiana, Arizona and Louisiana. The GOP governors of Oklahoma and Nevada are pushing education reforms similar to Bush’s Florida formula, the Post said.
Bush even has supporters in the Democratic Party. The Democratic governor of Colorado and the former Democratic governor of West Virginia joined with Bush last year to push digital learning and President Barack Obama recently joined Bush at a Miami high school that the ex-governor had suggested as a turnaround success story, the Post said.
“On education issues, the president’s heart is in the right place,” Bush told the Post. “He cares about students. My attitude is, on the things where there isn’t a fundamental disagreement, it seems to me we ought to pause, celebrate that and find ways to build on it.”
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