Radio: Jeb Bush, Rick Hess, And Me (Tonight!)
This evening or over the weekend you might want to tune into Bloomberg EDU, "the nation's only weekly radio program devoted to education," to hear Jane Stoddards Williams' Jeb Bush interview and a realtively polite throwdown between me and Rick Hess over the resurgence of interest in vouchers. (He smashes me on both points and style, though i might have eked out a draw on substance). More details and some teaser quotes from the Bush interview are below. (AM 1130 in New York)
JEB BUSH TELLS BLOOMBERG RADIO: "THERE SHOULD BE NO FAILING SCHOOLS"
Airing this Friday evening on "Bloomberg EDU," Hosted by Jane Stoddard Williams
This Friday on "Bloomberg EDU," the nation's only weekly radio program devoted to education, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush tells host Jane Stoddard Williams that Democrats and Republicans can find "common ground" on education and that the U.S. "needs to spend money to fund [educational] reforms." See below for transcribed remarks from Bush's interview on "Bloomberg EDU."
Also on this week's program, Williams holds a roundtable discussion on school vouchers, the future of textbooks and the "Race to the Top" with education policy expert and author Rick Hess and education writer and consultant Alexander Russo.
Tune into Bloomberg Radio on WBBR 1130 AM this Friday at 10pm ET, Saturday at 11am/ET or Sunday at 7 pm/ET or listen to a live Webstream at www.bloomberg.com/radio. Bloomberg Radio can also be heard on XM Channel 129 and Sirius Channel 130.
**MANDATORY CREDIT: 'BLOOMBERG EDU' ON BLOOMBERG RADIO**
(This is not a legal transcript. Bloomberg LP cannot guarantee its accuracy.)
Former Gov. Jeb Bush on Florida’s educational gains and what makes him proud:
“[I'm proud of] the shattering of myths that some kids can learn, some kids can’t…[it's an] accomplishment that warms my heart because I’ve always believed that children of families of lower income have the same God-given abilities to learn, and we excuse away why they don’t, and it’s a huge social challenge for our country, and narrowing that achievement gap I think is part of the pride that I feel."
"Getting Florida from the bottom of the heap to above the national average as measured by the nation’s report card is something that’s great. But that only gets us into the game. Being above the average of something that’s not good is still not good.”
On the labeling of failing schools in Florida:
“In [Florida] school districts that had 'F' schools and still do in Florida, they have to deal with it. You can’t just say ‘well, Urban Inner City High School is an 'F' and it’s going to be 'F' forever. No one would say that. I mean, how could they? How could you defend that?”
"There ought to be a sense of urgency. There should be no failing schools in America. There is no reason why there are, other than the fact that we haven’t tried something different or haven’t allocated resources properly.”
On the achievement gap and what needs to be done:
“If you do believe in reform and systemic reform, then you need the money to fund those reforms. You should fund your priorities first. For example, in many states there’s been a cutback of literacy programs. There are some really good early literacy programs both for four-year-olds and kindergarteners through third grade that would have a dramatic impact on narrowing the achievement gap."
"I would say the other great challenge for our country is how do we engage parents…It’s a legitimate point that teachers and people inside the system make that without parental involvement it’s much more difficult to see the kinds of gains we need over a sustained period of time. I really honestly don’t have an answer to that. ..You can’t mandate that parents be parents.”
“To me that’s the missing link for sustained reform. If moms and dads organized their lives around their children with much more conviction and intensity with learning being kind of at the front and center, a lot of the reforms that we’ve seen I think would accelerate learning very fast.”
On online learning and the end of textbooks:
“My expectation is that in five years there will be no textbooks. Digital learning will be the norm. And our foundation is focused on trying to help states change their laws, if they want them to be changed, to accelerate this in their own states.”
On cooperation across political parties on educational reform:
“You know this is a place where I feel there is common ground…The President of the United States and Secretary Duncan deserve credit, I think, for challenging a core constituency. The adults in the education system are traditionally big supporters of national Democratic causes. They provide a lot of money. They endorse. They’re actively involved politically. And the President has challenged the notion that, you know, 'Why is this an adult-centered system? Why can’t we reform? And because he’s done that and because of efforts, you know, on the conservative side that myself and many others are involved in. I think you might find that this is not a peaceful place, but it’s certainly not dominated by the vitriol you’re describing that exists in other policy areas.”
On what it was in his life that made education 'his thing':
“It's a combination of things. It’s reading at my momma’s knee. My mother’s always been an avid reader.”
“I was Secretary of Commerce in the State of Florida, and I saw the direct link to education outcomes and business climate. Increasingly, even in the 1980's people were saying that a quality education is probably the best economic inducement for us to invest in your community…Then when I was a candidate in 1998 I went to visit 250 schools…and that kind of cemented it. That crystalized what I thought needed to get done.”
In response to: They call you the 'Education Governor.' What about becoming the Education President?
“It’s not the right time for me to be thinking about anything other than financial security for my family, and my free time I do spend on this stuff because I’m passionate about it.”