Even Jeb Bush thinks Florida’s schools are underfunded

From NPR.org

by John O’Connor

Former Gov. Jeb Bush has weighed in on Tuesday’s National Assessment of Educational Progress results. His solution to stalled progress: Raise the standards.

But Bush may have buried the lead in his statement, advocating against further budget cuts. Florida cut the sixth-most from the K-12 budget since 2008, according to one survey.

“And investing in education is also important,” Bush’s statement says. “We urge the Florida Legislature to protect funding for public education, particularly policies and programs that support, incentivize and reward student achievement.”

“Today, the 2011 Nation’s Report Card for reading and math was released by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). Although Florida’s overall results show no significant progress between 2009 and 2011, Sunshine State fourth grade readers continue to score above the national average in reading.

‘Since 1999, Sunshine State student achievement has skyrocketed, but today’s data shows performance has plateaued,’ said former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, Chairman of the Foundation for Florida’s Future. ‘Now is the time to raise the bar. We cannot rest on our first decade of success.’

‘Right now, we have the opportunity to raise achievement levels for math and reading on the FCAT, the foundation of Florida’s data-driven system of accountability. Commissioner Robinson and education leaders have proposed higher math and reading requirements in grades 3–7, and we encourage them to increase grades 8–10 as well. We must also prioritize ensuring that every student masters the skill of reading. Early literacy is the cornerstone of learning. And investing in education is also important. We urge the Florida Legislature to protect funding for public education, particularly policies and programs that support, incentivize and reward student achievement. These are critical elements for keeping Florida’s students on a path of continued success.’”

Jeb Bush: “Protect Funding for Public Education”

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