Bush Foundation “staff acted to promote their corporate funders’ priorities”


Florida’s mainstream media have been poking around the embers of the relationship between Jeb Bush’s Foundation for Excellence in Education and it’s corporate sponsors. Orlando Sentinel  reporter Leslie Postal reports that a government watchdog group will releasing emails which “paint a graphic picture of corporate money distorting democracy.”

The group In the Public Interest plans to detail tomorrow how former Gov. Jeb Bush’s influential educational foundation is “writing state education laws and regulations in ways that could benefit its corporate funders.”

The group is to detail its findings to reporters Wednesday, with two Orlando mothers from the group Fund Education Now taking part in the press call. A Louisiana parent from the national group Parents Across America is to speak as well.

In the Public Interest says emails from Bush’s Foundation for Excellence in Education show “staff acted to promote their corporate funders’ priorities, and demonstrate the dangerous role that corporate money plays in shaping our education policy.”

It says emails from Florida, New Mexico, Maine, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, and Louisiana “paint a graphic picture of corporate money distorting democracy.”

The foundation is one of two Bush started and has been influential nationally in pushing the reform agenda he implemented here while serving two terms as Florida’s governor.

A story colleague Kathleen Haughney wrote back in June detailed Bush’s influence on Florida education policy, even though he has long been out of office. Although in the story, Patricia Levesque, the foundation’s head, said the perception of the  foundation’s influence is “greater than the reality.”

The Foundation for Excellence in Education’s website was down for a time earlier this week. It took down the page which listed it’s corporate donors sometime last year after  places like Scathing Purple Musings began reporting on them. The Foundation’s CEO, Patricia Levesque wrote earlier this month that “90 percent of the Foundation’s budget comes from family foundations or philanthropic organizations dedicated to improving students’ educational success.” Among the remaining 10 percent Levesque is referring to are corporations that do business in Florida which include K12 Inc, Charter Schools USA, Pearson, McGraw-Hill Education and publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

 

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About Bob Sikes

A long time ago and a planet far, far away I was an athletic trainer for the New York Mets. I was blessed to be part of the now legendary 1986 World Series Championship. My late father told me that I'd one day be thankful I had that degree in teaching from Florida State University. He was right and I became twice blesses to become a teacher in the late 1990's. After dabbling with writing about the Mets and then politics, I settled on education.
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8 Responses to Bush Foundation “staff acted to promote their corporate funders’ priorities”

  1. Thanks for the info about In The Public Interest ! I will be sure to watch for this!!

  2. Diane Kepus says:

    LOL! Ghee I wonder why none of the readers of this blog are surprised that Jeb Bush and the use of his Foundations would be to further the pocketbooks of his supporters. They are liars, cheats, scammers, political hacks and just plain slithery sneaky and probably need to be in jail for something. Their deliberate or blind destruction of our children’s future’s through the push of a Communist ideal for Education is one of the biggest scams outside of Global Warming in America for years.

    The Bush family needs to be stopped in their tracks and not allowed to create any further damage to this country. And that goes for the Florida legislators who seem to find the need to bow or kiss his backside because they are also making financial gains out of this and their lousy ethics bill certainly is not going far enough to prevent the cronyism and corruption in Tally.

  3. Teachers understand this. I have just never understood why the general public tends not to. Teachers are the ones that have students’ best interests at heart. If we didn’t, we wouldn’t be teaching. It’s not like we are respected or paid a decent wage. You pretty much have to love it and have a passion for it in order to do it. in addition, we are not the ones that benefit financially from educational decisions that are made. Therefore, when we are raising the red flag saying something is wrong, why is the finger being pointed back at us? What do we have to gain?!

  4. In other words, teachers are the ones trying to help your children. The politicians/political interest groups are the ones trying to line their own pockets or receive political gains!

  5. Rory Robinson says:

    I hope this information travels the nation. Perhaps it will tarnish the false image that Bush is the “Education Governor” and is altruistic to share his model with the rest of the country. Let the truth be told and the chips fall.

  6. Diane Kepus says:

    Floridateacher67 – I understand yours and other teachers frustration. Having to work under an accountability system that depends on the advancement of your students and the grades they make when you are given curriculum’s which are biased and in the case of the Common Core Standards as a “one size fits all” is not only unreasonable – but the powers to be have refused to listen.

    When our legislators openly stand on the House floor announcing they spoke to Jeb Bush before a vote was to be taken should sicken every person in this state regardless of their Party affiliation.

    Wonder why we can’t get anywhere – with the state board, some of the district superintendent’s (Ella) playing footsey with Bush and Gates?

    http://www.inthepublicinterest.org/sites/default/files/0212%20ITPI%20Privatization_Report_f_0.pdf

  7. Pingback: Does the FLDOE Work for Jeb Bush’s Foundation? « Truth About Education

  8. Pingback: Jeb Bush Foundation Under Fire for Conflicts « Diane Ravitch's blog

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