What Do Jeb Bush’s Breathtaking Denials Mean?

In a stunning defense of disgraced education commissioner Tony Bennett,  Jeb Bush picked up his pen today in an attempt to save Bennett’s legacy – and perhaps his own. He wrote from his perch with Foundation for Florida’s Future. Lets take a look at a few of Bush’s stunning positions as they are published in the Miami Herald:

 A man accused of trying to undermine public education, in fact, had dramatically improved it. He took on both the political left and the political right, and that cost him his job. Nobody who objectively assesses the job Tony has done in Florida can conclude he should be leaving it.

Bush is attempting to discredit both his and Bennett’s critics by challenging their objectivity. Bennett lost his credibility and moral authority to oversee any accountability system when he chose to change the grades to serve his own agenda. For Bush to deny damages his own moral authority that he’s assumed for so long on education reform.

Florida’s students will feel the loss of his leadership the most. Those who stooped to nasty political tactics to undermine Tony should be ashamed. They protect their self-interest at the expense of our next generation.

A man of Bush’s stature cannot characterize a careful reading of Bennett’s public record emails as “nasty political tactics” to “protect their self-interest” when it is clear that Bennett was acting in his own political interests and betrayed the public trust.  But Bush doubles down on his own denial:

How ironic that the false accusations coming out of Indiana centered around a school that has been successful in improving the academic achievement of poor children, the very children who had been ignored for decades under the adult-centered model of education.

False accusations? The Bennett emails speak for themselves. They serve as a timeline of his actions and decision-making processes. Bush’s reference to the charter school students at Christel House is the sort of sanctimonious exploitation of children Bush and the education reform movement use to  justify their ends justifies the means game plan.

Bush’s full-throated defense Bennett says more about him than it does about Bennett. His inability to find any fault with Bennett’s actions shows him – and likely both of his educations foundations – to be in serious denial. This denial furthermore demonstrates an inability and unwillingness to engage in self-reflection and assessment. Not a good thing for the national public education policy they are advancing.

The constant tweaking of Florida’s school grade formula and Bennett’s clear manipulations of Indiana’s grades have revealed they are willing to manipulate the system they designed to get results they want.  Bush and his foundations are quickly showing they cannot be trusted to advance education policy – especially if they continue on this current path.







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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5 Responses to What Do Jeb Bush’s Breathtaking Denials Mean?

  1. Tom McConnell says:

    Good call! There are two people who say the conclusions naturally drawn from Bennett’s own emails are “falsehoods,” “malicious,” and “unfounded.” One resigned from the office of Florida Education Commissioner. The 2nd is Jeb Bush. Both are clearly denying the truth. I take that as a sure sign of Jeb’s involvement in the whole fiasco.

  2. “They protect their self-interest at the expense of our next generation.” Yes, Jeb you are guilty as charged.

    • Jeb writes of the adult-centered model of education. I assume he includes teachers and administrators. I think it is better named the administrator/politician-centered model of education because, for far too long, teachers have been excluded from having any meaningful say in any aspect of education reform.

  3. Anthony Cody says:

    It is called projection. You see in your opponents the very traits which you harbor within yourself. Jeb Bush uses nasty political tactics to advance the selfish interests of the donors that fund his Foundation for Educational Excellence, and accuses others of doing the same. The mask is slipping.

  4. 1389AD says:

    The entire Bush family has been a disaster for the US.

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