Bush has apparently noticed that having surrogates write op-eds on his behalf isn’t working and has finally taken up the pen himself. Writing predictably with cherry-picked data to justify his choice/accountability mantras, Bush targets and dismisses those who have been dealing with the disasters his policies have created in Florida schools. Writes Bush in Sunshine State News:
When we started on this course in 1999, we were considered radical. Now many of these reforms are mainstream and increasingly bipartisan.
Despite this, there will be efforts to roll back some of our most important accomplishments in next year’s legislative session, not because they aren’t working for children but because they are creating discomfort for adults. The Florida Education Association once again is arguing that we need to go back in the direction of a failed past — not surprising in that the teachers’ unions bitterly fought every successful reform since the movement began. The Florida School Boards Association also hopes to dilute accountability reforms in next year’s legislative session. If the school boards had done their job by cracking down on failing schools and ensuring all children received an education, then there wouldn’t have been a need for the reforms the boards now seek to escape.
Bush’s shrill narrative smells desperate. Admitting that school boards are opposing him is to recognize the threat they pose to his agenda. Meanwhile, Rick Scott is having a conversation with parents and teachers across the state – a direct result of this spring’s collapse of Bush’s test-dominated accountability system that stunned and angered Floridians. This week’s remarkable criticism from Republican Sen. Steve Wise of some Bush-era policies must have shocked Bush.
There are many republicans among the school boards who are standing up to Bush’s agenda. And when a republican governor and powerful state senator begin raising concerns, the former Florida governor must face the reality that he’s being opposed by members of his own party.