Nancy Loome, the executive director of The Parents’ Campaign, sure got underneath Patricia Levesque’s skin. The CEO of Bush’s foundation wrote this in response to Loome’s December 31 editorial in the Jackson Clarion-Ledger:
As executive director of The Parents’ Campaign, Nancy Loome has a responsibility to provide accurate information to the public.
She failed to do that in her editorial, “Public education for sale? Big money pushing charter school legislation.”
Loome’s statements about Florida and the Foundation for Excellence in Education were misleading at best and require a response.
Loome correctly notes that Florida has made strong academic gains by investing in education reform.
But then she writes: “Yet, Florida’s most vocal ‘education reform’ advocates, the Foundation for Excellence in Education, attribute Florida’s success to school choice.”
Given that I’m the Foundation’s CEO, that baffles me.
At no time has the Foundation promoted choice as a cure-all for public education. In fact, we clearly say that there is no single silver bullet policy to improve education in our country. We support a comprehensive reform agenda, which is outlined on our web site and which our chairman, former Gov. Jeb Bush, discussed in an August speech in Jackson.
School Choice is part of that comprehensive agenda. So is a strong focus on early literacy, rigorous academic standards and coursework, strong accountability measures, an expansion of digital technology in the classroom and policies that attract the best and brightest into the teaching profession.
Loome seems to think we are involved in some nefarious plot to promote a corporate takeover of public education in Mississippi. She notes that members of the Foundation have made multiple trips to Mississippi.
Loome must hold significant sway in Mississippi, otherwise Levesque would have remained silent. The point-of-view one which she realizes exists throughout Florida, but has never felt the need to respond. Why now?