Published Online: April 3, 2008
AP interview: McCain will seek Jeb Bus's help on education
(Ed. note: This headline is re-printed exactly as the original, miss-spelling of jeb's last name inclusive. Pretty good for a site named "Education Week", eh?)
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Republican Presidential candidate John McCain said Thursday he has turned to former Gov. Jeb Bush for advice on education policy and will continue to do so if he wins the November election.
McCain said he's had meetings with Bush for "a couple of years" on education policy and enthusiastically said he would seek his help if elected. The Arizona senator made the remarks after being asked how Bush will help the campaign.
"He has offered to do whatever he says he can and I appreciate it. On the education issue he is already helping out," McCain said. "He's very well respected on many issues, but education is probably one where I think he has a nationwide reputation."
Bush's first priority when taking office in 1999 was a massive overhaul of the state's school system which included using standardized testing to grade schools. Schools were then rewarded or punished based on their grades.
He also put in place the first statewide voucher program, which allowed children to go to private schools with taxpayer money instead of remaining in schools that repeatedly failed. That program, however, was later ruled unconstitutional. Bush also expanded reading and mentoring programs.
Whether schools improved under Bush is a continuing debate. Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test scores would indicate schools improved, and the gap between white students' scores and minorities' scores narrowed. The National Assessment of Educational Progress, the most widely recognized national assessment tool, also showed progress in reading and math scores, particularly among younger students.
But critics, including Democrats and teachers unions, point to other indicators, such as graduation rates and money spent per student, that show Florida schools among the worst in the country. They also said the emphasis on the FCAT means schools now teach to the test.
Thank goodness we'll soon be vacating both the US and Florida.
Now, as additional proof of what a wonderful education system jeb hath wrought in Florida, check out Dave's post below.
You can't make this stuff up . . . .
(Cross-posted from Moving to Vancouver)