Jeb Bush Calls For ‘New Coalitions Of The Willing’ To Back Education Reform In Era Of Intense Divisiveness
Jeb Bush Calls for ‘New Coalitions of the Willing’ to Back Education Reform in Era of Intense Divisiveness
According to former Florida governor Jeb Bush, bipartisanship is crucial for making progress in education reform. He believes that education should not be a partisan issue and that it is important to build broad coalitions across the political spectrum. However, he acknowledges that finding common ground is becoming increasingly difficult in today’s divisive political climate. Bush made these remarks at the annual summit of the Foundation for Excellence in Education, the organization he founded ten years ago.
Education reform has become entangled in the political divisions that plague American society. Progressive advocates and organizations criticize President Donald Trump’s policies on immigration and healthcare, despite their support for charter schools. Conversely, reformers on the right argue that non-education issues should not be brought into the conversation about improving schools.
Bush argues that any significant policy change requires bipartisan support, but unfortunately, cooperation has been replaced by partisan divide. He hopes that new coalitions will emerge to tackle the challenge of ensuring student success.
In order to promote education reform at the state level, advocates should support good policies even if they do not support the person advocating for them. Bush urges them to prevent the contagion of Washington, D.C.’s partisan politics from spreading into state capitols. He emphasizes the importance of building policy across party lines.
Despite his personal disagreements with President Trump during the 2016 primaries, Bush supported Betsy DeVos’s nomination as education secretary. He praises DeVos as a principled reformer who prioritizes the needs of children. DeVos was scheduled to speak at the conference later that day.
Bush believes that significant progress has been made in education reform over the past decade, thanks to initiatives such as charter schools, private school choice programs, early literacy efforts, and A-F school ratings systems. However, he warns against complacency and emphasizes the need for continued reform. Reform is an ongoing process, and stakeholders should remain committed to improving education.
One area that requires particular attention is accountability. While Bush supports a complete transformation of the current school system to a fully personalized model, he believes that test-based accountability is necessary in the interim. The foundation has long advocated for an A-F grading system for schools, which simplifies school comparison for parents. States have implemented various rating systems, including A-F and star ratings, as well as comprehensive data dashboards, under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act.
Bush highlights the importance of transparent accountability systems and criticizes those that use complicated and confusing rating mechanisms. He specifically mentions California’s multi-hued dashboard as an example of an ineffective and convoluted system. He believes that accountability systems should be clear and straightforward for the benefit of parents and stakeholders.
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