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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Former commissioner Eric Smith lands at Bush Institute



Gov. Rick Scott might not have been too keen on Eric Smith as Florida's education commissioner.

The Bush family doesn't seem to have shared Scott's opinion.

Smith, a founding member of Chiefs for Change (an offshoot of Jeb Bush's education foundation), has found a new roost to promote his view on education reform, again under the auspices of a Bush organization. Now, he's an education policy fellow at the George W. Bush Institute.

It's a post he shares with other ed reform notables including Sandy Kress and Jay P. Greene.

Smith's reemergence came on the Huffington Post today, where he urges education policy makers to build upon the core principles of No Child Left Behind and not abandon "accountability, transparency and equality."

Smith is not the only former Florida education department leader to hold a high profile position nationally, furthering the views of the Jeb Bush accountability model. Others still out there include Cornelia Orr, now head of NAEP; Hannah Skandera, New Mexico's education chief; and John Winn, who has worked with several education groups including the National Math and Science Initiative.

Longtime Bush confidante and BOE chairman Phil Handy also remains in the mix, advising on education issues with the Stanford's Hoover Institution and Harvard's JFK School of Government.

No wonder why ideas like school grading and third grade retention continue to gain traction nationally.

[Last modified: Wednesday, April 4, 2012 5:01pm]


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