Listen to his words! His arrogance! Toting his young “glory-boy” son who is being groomed to be a George Bush III (his actual name is George Prescott Bush after his great-grandfather Prescott Bush – you know – the one who supported the Nazi’s against America during WWII) Jeb Bush took his tour to “Education Weary” Texas on Tuesday to push his for-profit Charter schools!
Scathing Purple Musings by Bob Sikes – Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and his rising-political-star son, George P. Bush, urged Texas on Tuesday to dismantle the “monopoly of public education” (1) by dramatically expanding access to charter schools, embracing online learning and overhauling how teachers are evaluated.
But neither man offered any hints about his political future.
The elder Bush, who is often mentioned as a possible contender for president in 2016, told an education forum organized by the Texas Business Leadership Council, “I urge you to be big and bold, and if people get offended, so what?” (2)
“Politics can’t always be like mamby-pamby land,” (3) said Bush, who said America’s public schools have for too long been organized to best suit the “economic needs of adults” such as unionized teachers and school administrators, rather than students (4).
Floridians have always known that Bush feels this way, but he never dared dropping this kind of Hateorade in a place where a Florida reporter would hear it. Speaking in a state more red than a Radio Flyer, Bush knew this red meat would play well.
But Bush’s rhetoric is becoming easier to fact check and dismiss. Yesterday’s release of the prospectus from one of his top financial backers in Pearson, revealed which adults were having their “economic needs” met. The “monopoly’ that exists now is controlled by Bush’s cartel of backers.
What Jeb Bush showed is complete without some overplay of the Florida model? Bush didn’t disappoint:
Bush said that the Florida Virtual School, the nation’s oldest and largest vendor, now offers 400,000 courses via Internet, and 45 percent of Florida students currently are enrolled in charter schools, online classes or some other form of learning other than traditional public schools….
But Bush said public schools here and elsewhere have become “a public, unionized monopoly” and that the only way to weaken it is to expand school choice while tightening teacher evaluation standards and limiting tenure.
Bush probably left through the side door without taking questions like he did after parting the waters inside the Florida House two weeks ago. His act doesn’t work if he has to entertain tricky questions about the “imploding” of Florida’s accountability system that legislators are having to deal with next month. Nor does he want to admit that his hand-picked education commissioner, Tony Bennett, has been forced to talk Plan B on Bush’s Common Core Initiative that Pearson was going to cash in on with PARCC tests.(6)
He inflates the percentage of students enrolled in the options of his choosing without telling Texans that a plurality of those students are enrolled in an online class because he rammed through a mandate that required it for graduation. (7)
Moreover, a shocking number of high school students – victims of his test-based curriculum – are enrolled in online credit recovery classes which all are run by other financial backers of Bush. Most of the expansion of charter schools in Florida has been leveraged by legislative fiat that Bush’s foundation authored.
Bush’s reforms in Texas don’t enjoy the easy path that they do in Florida where he still controls the republican party.(8) Even in Indiana where Tony Bennett once ruled, Republicans are halting Common Core. Same story in Alabama. Bush twisted choice ideals to benefit his financial backers. But he doesn’t want states to have their own choices on curriculum. The jig is up on Bush’s choice for me and not for thee.
(1) Not sure how Bush see’s our public schools as a monopoly when they have the local school districts, state DOE, State school board and the Federal government “overseeing”, funding and laying the ground rules for everything they do. I would agree the Federal government is trying to make them a monopoly with the Federal government in Charge but then Mr. Bush, it is your Charter schools that are supposed to be helping that long with their “unelected school boards.
(2) ‘Offended? I seem to recall 2 weeks ago Bush was whining and making up excuses for the report by “In the Public Interest” as to his relationship with the Florida DOE! READ
(3)”Politics can’t always be like mamby-pamby land” – POLITICS has absolutely no business in education – it is Bush who has put POLITICS squarely at the feet of our children using them as human collateral. Oh how I would love to be a fly on the wall when you monsters are gathered together talking about your deceit!
(4) Bush continues to claim his push for Charter schools is for the “good” of the children – I beg to differ with you sir – it is all about the financial bottom line of your backers and yourself. You could care less about these children or you would not be pushing CCS.
(5) First, Bush needs to check his own School Choice website – He stated 45% of Florida’s students are enrolled in Charter schools when by his own web site they state for the 2012-2013 school year there are 570 Charter schools in Florida with approx. 200,000 students. Now, the 400K figure might hold water in that he (Bush) got legislation passed in Florida to require students to take at least 1 Virtual class to be able to graduate (this would certainly help to implode Bush’s numbers but his calculations lead others to believe he has that many Charter schools and students) and anyone with a kindergarten graduation diploma knows that was to fatten the “pockets of Bush backers.”
(6) Common Core Standards are being pushed by Jeb Bush and all of his Chief’s for Change” – want to take a guess why that it?
(7) Florida Charter school truth – Businesses with a Vested interest in the Charter school scam will tell only one side of the story — their side. But if you asked the Parents of students from the closed Charter schools you will get another story. For starters, charter schools fail and close at an alarming rate. One of every five has failed to keep its doors open. Last year charter schools accounted for nearly 50 percent of the state’s F-rated schools, even though they accounted for only 11 percent of the total public schools. (Let us not forget, “in the beginning” it was Jeb Bush who said he was starting the CHARTER school racket because ALL PUBLIC schools were bad and failing at an outrageous rate – “we need to have more accountability”. Maybe we need more accountability from Mr. Bush and his cronies!
Put it another way: Charter schools are seven times more likely to fail.
Yet Florida politicians barreled ahead, bowing to Bush and vowing to pour more and more tax dollars into this flawed system — and now they’re talking about doubling the number of kids in charter schools. Apparently Bush’s idea of “accountability” is only for traditional schools.
At one failed venture — Imani Elementary in Orlando, FL — students lacked books, missed tests and basically lost an entire year’s worth of education as the school racked up debt of more than $400,000 and did not inform parents of the impending closure! Just where does the debt go when a Charter school closes – would you like to guess? Given the fact Florida’s charter-school law strips away many of the accountability requirements faced by other public schools, Mr. Bush is again speaking in “double-speak”. He stated that was why we need schools to be Charter schools! He will never talk about the “closed” Charter schools and when you mention Bush’s original Charter school start in Miami, he doesn’t even remember the name of the school – that because it is also closed!
Even when charter schools appear to have broken the law or failed their students with misuse of funds, lack of equipment, and uncertified teachers – they have multiple chances to improve or appeal, a process that can stretch for months or longer. And when local school boards want to close a Charter school, the Bush injected State School board always steps in and that does not happen. How is that improving the accountability or education of our children to sit in an F school for 2-3 years?????
How is your state handling a failing Charter school? Have you looked at the legislation in your state regarding Charter Schools?
Gov. Rick Scott and Republican legislators have tripped over themselves to blame unions, lazy teachers and bureaucracies. Yet, when charter schools fail, they don’t say a word. In fact, when then Commissioner and Jeb Bush Chief’s for Change Gerard Robinson toured Jacksonville about opening another KIPP school, he was asked by a reporter why he would consider opening another KIPP school when those already open were failing? Robinsons response – “we don’t use that as a consideration”!
On the other side of the coin their are some very good Charter schools, but the underlying cronyism and manipulation to force all public schools to become Charter schools “for-profit” is just plain wrong and needs to be stopped!
Bottom line is – who is “minding the store”? Certainly no one but the taxpayers!