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Posted by seafan in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Tue Mar 30th 2010, 08:41 PM
The state of public school education in Florida is abysmal, as madfloridian has posted many times.

And the Jeb Bush-led assault on public education in Florida continues unabated.

Jeb Bush speaks enthusiastically about the passage of SB 6 in Florida Senate

On March 25, 2010, Mitch Perry writes:

This morning on MSNBC’s Morning Joe program (broadcast live from Alexander Elementary School in Tampa), former Florida Governor Jeb Bush lavishly praised the Florida Senate for passing SB 6 yesterday, the legislation that among other things, would make it easier to eliminate teacher job security for new hires and tie their pay increases to student performance.

The legislation has been excoriated by the teacher unions and Democrats, but passed in the Republican led legislature yesterday by a 21-17 vote. Debate on a House companion bill begins this morning.

Bush, who is a close ally with the sponsor of the Senate bill, Jacksonville Republican John Thrasher, said this morning on the cable news program that “I think it’s a great bill. Implemented right it will make the teaching profession truly a profession.” He added it would take time to get the data in place to accurately measure learning gains for students (under the bill, the performance standards that would determine teacher pay would begin in 2014). Bush, who made major changes in education during his two terms as governor that were bitterly fought by unions and Democrats, was asked by MSNBC’s Mike Barnicle if it was fair to put so much emphasis on students success on teachers when it some cases the child comes from a home where education is not emphasized (a question that brought cheers from the studio audience).

“Well one of the ways you do it is based on learning gains, not based on proficiency on how the number of students learning at grade level at the end of the year. You measure – you have a baseline – in Florida we have great data, so we can measure where students start, and where they end. In a years worth of knowledge and in a years time irrespective of the background of the child can be achieved.”

Bush said there will be a lot more testing that measures not just reading and math but other classes as well in the future, which he welcomes.

As he has previously, the governor, who has been a fierce critic of President Obama on a number of issues, gave praise to the President and Education Secretary Arne Duncan for challenging unions and “putting students first, rather than adults in the system.”


Jeb Bush left the Governor's mansion in early 2007. But it's as if he never left.

Jeb Bush ally in FL Senate files legislation to gut teacher tenure, forcing tougher requirements, March 2, 2010

Once again, Jeb Bush's legacy of educational failure slaps Florida in the face., June 19, 2009

Florida teachers union to file lawsuit against Jeb Bush's stealth school voucher amendments , May 18, 2008

Meddling with schools is new legislative mandate

Ron Littlepage on March 26, 2010 writes:

The best quip I’ve heard so far about the annual gathering of the legislators in Tallahassee — also known as the most dangerous time for Floridians — is this: “This has been the best session Jeb Bush has ever had.” (bold type added)
Perhaps that’s because the former two-term governor helped get John Thrasher elected to the state Senate and then helped Thrasher become the head of the Florida Republican Party.
Thrasher is certainly carrying Bush’s water in continuing the Republican platform begun under Bush of messing up Florida’s public schools.


The pressure was heavy this week on Republican senators to fast track and pass Thrasher’s bill that dramatically changes how teachers are paid and gives them zero job security.
So is it a problem, as I’ve written in columns before, for a sitting senator — Thrasher — to also be the head of the state party who will be in charge of handing out campaign cash to Republican candidates in this election year?

In an interview with the Palm Beach Post, Dick Batchelor, a children’s advocate and a former Democratic state representative from Orlando, described the problem of the dual role quite nicely.
“The man who is sponsoring the bill is in the end Daddy Warbucks when the campaigns start,” he told the Post.

Hmmm. Please the money man or vote against his bad idea?


The following says a lot about what’s wrong with the Legislature.

Public schools have had to slash their budgets for the last few years, eliminating classes and programs, because the Legislature has failed to meet its constitutional mandate to provide sufficient funding to ensure a quality education for all Florida public school students.

Even more cuts are likely after this legislative session. Yet, legislators are set to pass a bill that increases — that’s right, increases — the amount of money businesses can skip paying in corporate and insurance premium taxes and instead give it to a tuition-voucher fund that pays for students to go to private schools.
That’s a dollar-for-dollar deduction, and it’s tax money that won’t be available to help fill a $3.2 billion hole in the state budget. We will just cut public school funding instead.

By the way, most of the private schools taking the voucher students are religious schools, and they don’t have to meet the standards legislators are foisting on public schools, such as Thrasher’s idea of basing teacher pay on how students perform on a test.


Jeb Bush pal, state ethics violator John Thrasher, gunning to head Florida GOP, February 19, 2010

(He was successful. Jeb took care of it.)

Because Jeb Bush and John Thrasher still control the throttle of Florida's legislature, Florida is forced to live with its abusers.

By the way, how is that Lehman investigation progressing, Jeb? The Feds come knockin' on your door yet?

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