Jeb Bush’s Chiefs for Change and the Election of Florida’s Next Governor


From Andrew Ujifusa in Education Week:

Idaho Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna has joined Chiefs for Change, the second state K-12 chief to do so this month, the group announced on Dec. 20. Luna, along with Delaware chief Mark Murphy, who signed on with the group Dec. 10, brings the group’s total to eight members.

Luna seems like a natural fit for Chiefs for Change, which is an affiliate of the Foundation for Excellence in Education, the advocacy group that favors A-F school accountability, online learning, and parent choice that is led by former Florida GOP Gov. Jeb Bush. For example, he’s an outspoken and unapologetic supporter of the Common Core State Standards, a key tenet for the foundation (Chiefs for Change officially supports “high academic standards” that are internationally benchmarked). In Idaho, that’s not necessarily the easiest stance for a statewide elected official to take. Luna, a Republican, also made a big push for digital learning and new technology in schools, although voters haven’t shown the same enthusiasm.

“I strive every day to make sure we are creating a customer-driven education system that meets the needs of every student in Idaho and provides the best educational opportunities to every child, no matter where they live or go to school,” Luna says in a statement on Chiefs for Change’s website.

A more apt name for this group of state level hack and flacks for Jeb Bush’s agenda is Chiefs For Chaos Cuz’ that Corporation is Paying for All This.

No word yet on whether or not Florida’s new commissioner will be joining the gang. The state’s past three commissioners all have. You can be sure that Bush wants to add Pam Stewart as to not have her is an embarrassment and another sign that his influence over Florida ed policy is waning. What if Stewart doesn’t want to?  Or more importantly, Rick Scott doesn’t want her to. Who can blame him if he’s grown weary of meddling from Bush.

However, Bush ally John Kirtley has put $50,000 into Scott’s Lets Get to Work PAC this year. It won’t be the last money Kirtley tosses Scott’s way. Florida’s wealthiest school privatization warrior knows a Charlie Crist in the governor’s house will put a drag on his agenda. Guys like Kirtley and Bush will go all-in to keep Crist from defeating Scott – even if they need to hold their own nose in doing so.

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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