If Jeb Bush should run for President, this article bears re-reading.
Bush spoke at a rightwing policy conference in Michigan, where he “trashed” public schools.
“MACKINAC ISLAND, Mich. — Jeb Bush praised charter schools and slammed traditional public schools and teachers unions in a speech here Wednesday, saying that public education “dumbs down standards to make adults look better,” a phrase often used by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.
“We must expand [school] choice,” said Bush, delivering a keynote speech at the annual Mackinac Policy Conference in northern Michigan. “Our governance model includes over 13,000 government-run monopolies run by unions.”
“Since he left office, the former Florida governor has become an evangelist for a certain strand of education reform; through his $19 million Foundation for Excellence in Education, he advocates for online education, grading schools based on test scores and forcing students to repeat grades if they don’t pass standardized exams.”
Bush is also an ardent fan of vouchers.
In his speech, he praised Michigan’s charter sector. Not everyone agrees with his enthusiasm. The Detroit Free Press ran a series of articles in July 2014 concluding that the state of Michigan spends $1 billion every year on charters with no accountability.
Here are the newspaper’s findings:
“What the Free Press found:
A yearlong Free Press investigation of Michigan’s charter schools found wasteful spending, conflicts of interest, poor performing schools and a failure to close the worst of the worst. Among the findings:
Charter schools spend $1billion per year in state taxpayer money, often with little transparency.
Some charter schools are innovative and have excellent academic outcomes — but those that don’t are allowed to stay open year after year.
A majority of the worst-ranked charter schools in Michigan have been open 10 years or more.
Charter schools as a whole fare no better than traditional schools in educating students in poverty.
Michigan has substantially more for-profit companies running schools than any other state.
Some charter school board members were forced out after demanding financial details from management companies.
State law does not prevent insider dealing and self-enrichment by those who operate schools.”