Getting beyond left and right in education reform, a rally from an unlikely source

Soon after redefinED launched in late November, contributor Jon East commented on Jeb Bush’s call for bipartisanship  in developing “meaningful, child-centered” education reform during the former Florida governor’s National Summit on Education Reform in Washington, D.C. As Jon noted then, “this is not to be dismissed as idle happy talk,” and he should know. Jon covered education policy for more than two decades when he was an editorial writer for the St. Petersburg Times, and recalled that “Bush achieved much of his own sweeping education agenda in Florida from 1999 to 2007 through taut partisan muscle …”

This week, released its interview with Bush at the National Summit, exploring mostly Bush’s interest in transformative and disruptive technologies in the classroom. But in the closing seconds of the 6:30 minute video, Bush returns to the theme of bipartisanship and reminds his interviewer of the liberal heritage of school choice:

I think a liberal can support systemic change. School choice in the 60s was a creature of the left, not of the right. It makes no sense for me to think you have the left supporting an unsustainable system and the right not focusing on rising student achievement as a high priority but just kind of focusing on local control being the dominant feature. We need to get the debate beyond that, and I hope to play a role in that.

Here’s the full video:

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BY Adam Emerson

Editor of redefinED, policy and communications guru for Florida education nonprofit

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