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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Jeb Bush's education kingdom crumbles

Has Jeb Bush lost all sense of reality? He lost all sense of decency long ago.
If it wasn’t him taking money from corporations that seek to profit off our children or him supporting cheats and frauds (Tony Bennett anyone) that turned you off then maybe his piece in the National Review on-line will do so.
A dissection of his piece, what he wrote is in bold and my analysis follows.
The United States has become a global leader in education spending, while also becoming a global laggard in student achievement. If you count college too and as the richest country in the history of the world why should spending the most be thought of as a negative? As for being a laggard when you factor out poverty our scores zoom to or near the top.
Our students have fallen behind their international peers in math and science. Our very poor students that is
The result is that only one quarter of the students who do earn a high-school diploma are prepared for college. So much for relying on high stakes testing right?
Despite high unemployment, there are 3 million skilled jobs going unfilled because companies cannot find qualified applicants. The FCAT in Florida ushered in the destruction of numerous trade and skills program. In good conscious he can’t destroy them and bemoan that they are missing; a lack of conscious yes, in good conscious no.  
Studies done by the Brookings Institution and the American Enterprise Institute show the prospect for economic mobility is becoming increasingly remote. The income gap is widening, and the middle class is being squeezed. Does anybody think for a second Bush really cares about the middle class? I mean even just for a second?
Thankfully, state leaders are backing reforms to transform education in ways that will ultimately extend opportunity and prosperity to more Americans. But more must be done. By more Americans he means, hedge fund managers, charter school operators and testing company executives.
Accountability and transparency have shown us which policies work and which ones don’t. His policies would be in the don’t work category.
 There is no single wonder drug that will transform education, but a set of bold, proven reforms holds the key to dramatically raising student achievement. By bold he means profitable for him and his friends.
First, high standards are the most basic element of reform. Some kids might say having breakfast and some teachers might say having the basic supplies they need.
To compete with the rest of the world, we must produce competitive high-school graduates. Despite Chicken “Jeb Bush” Little running around screaming the sky is falling does anybody really feel like the rest of the world is zooming by? Maybe catching up, but don’t we still seem like the best game in town?
That means we have to make sure that the skills they are learning are aligned with what employers and colleges expect high-school graduates to know. How does bubbling in scantrons help with this?
Recognizing this need, state leaders have worked together to develop a set of rigorous academic standards in math and English language arts. These standards, known as the Common Core State Standards, set an ambitious and voluntary goal line. Again by state leaders he means testing companies. And by voluntary he means whether teachers, parents and students want it or not.
The states develop their own content or game plans to get into the end zone. State and local leaders call the plays. Then why the need for common core again? Isn’t that what states are already doing?
This is not the establishment of a national curriculum. Contrary to what Michelle Malkin and Glenn Beck tell you, higher standards won’t harm parental choice, indoctrinate our children with a secret liberal agenda, or infringe on the privacy of student data. I think they may be a little worried about all the money you and your friends stand to make and the corporatization of education too.
Education, like anything, can be undermined by excessive regulation or highly bureaucratized top-down control. And President Obama’s embrace of the standards as his idea has given the appearance that they are a Washington edict. It has politicized the issue and complicated the understanding of who initiated and led the development of these higher standards. Step one for a republican to run for president, blame Obama, even if it is your idea, Romneycare anyone?  
Federal overreach is a real concern and one I share. Unless like race to the top does and it promotes your agenda.
But states’ working together to solve a shared problem is not a violation of federalism. It was state governors and state education chiefs who started and led the Common Core State Standards initiative. And state and local leaders retain authority over the implementation and assessments.
Common Core State Standards have critics on the political left and right. I respect thoughtful views, even if I do not agree with them. Unless they come from teachers or education experts right?
But I cannot tolerate the watered-down standards and expectations that exist for far too many students today. That must be why he sent his children to exclusive private schools that charge tens of thousands in tuition.
Apart from higher standards, we must stop the practice of socially promoting functionally illiterate third-graders. Most of whom live in poverty and ignoring poverty is not going to make it go away.
By the time they enter fourth grade, children must have made the transition from learning to read to reading to learn. Otherwise, the inability to understand texts will cause them to fall farther behind every year and, too often, to drop out entirely. I have an idea how about we cut school budgets so they can no longer afford to have summer school? Oh wait that’s already happened in most places.
Third, technology can increase the efficiency of education just as it has increased the efficiency of every other aspect of our lives. Digital learning should be an option for students. In fact, options across the board — charter schools, home schools, vouchers, and tax-credit scholarships — allow parents to shop for a school that best meets their child’s needs. I guess he wants to ignore the fact most of above supports Jeb Bush and that studies show they don’t produce better education outcomes. But then again Bush thinks shopping for a school should be like shopping for milk
The reason there has been little innovation in public education is there has been little competition.Magnet schools, advanced academic programs, smaller classes anyone? Phonics, head start, team up, anyone?  
We are confronted with opposition from unions and bureaucracies because they fear the loss of jobs and bloated pensions. Why should Mrs.Mcgillicutty get to dedicate her entire life to kids and then be provided for in her retirement?
We need an education marketplace that gives families a myriad of options. There is the milk analogy again.
The presence of a competitor forces improvement. The problem is charter schools and vouchers haven’t forced improvement, they have diluted precious resources and produced substandard results.
Accountability is the cornerstone of reform. A system that does not set high standards, transparently measure progress, and hold schools and educators responsible for results will fail. He should have let Tony Bennett know that.
You drive results not by dollars, but by child-centered policies and the courage to stick with them. I wonder then why all his reforms fatten the bank accounts of corporations. He wants us to have the courage to make him rich.
Finally, we need to stop treating teachers like interchangeable workers on an assembly line. Instead, we should recognize them and reward them as individual professionals. That will happen if we eliminate tenure and evaluate and pay teachers based on their performance, instead of how long they’ve been on the job. I would love to have no job protections, depend on a high stakes test to determine my salary and I was a much better teacher when I started out, said no teacher ever.    
If we don’t completely transform education, we are defaulting on the American dream. I didn’t realize the American dream was to profit off of children.
America was founded on the principle that every American has the right to rise according to his or her abilities and hard work. Or based on their last name right Mr. Bush?
Anyone can accomplish anything in America. And Jeb thinks bubbling in answer sheets is the ticket to do so.
 It is why poor parents sacrifice to send their children to college. It is why people work long hours, start businesses, and take risks. The promise of economic mobility fuels innovation and entrepreneurship.And all Bush wants parents to do is risk their children’s futures on his reforms.
In my recent travels, I have been to incredibly dynamic cities such as Hong Kong, Singapore, Tel Aviv, Bogota, and Dubai. Skipping the poor neighborhoods I am sure.
They want to beat us by becoming what we used to be — home to the best schools in the world. Despite his rantings we still do have most of the best schools in the world.
This is what our kids are up against. Jeb Bush’s reforms
I suggest we prepare them. I suggest we warn them


  1. Today, new Kindergarteners were required to Write their first and last name on a scan-tron sheet and "bubble" their answers for the Art and Music Baseline CAST Assessment!!!!! REALLY???!!! How developmentally inappropriate!!

  2. Can you give me a little more? I would like to write about this...