Jeb: How about Alexander Elementary in Tampa?
Asked for an example where his education changes made a difference for the better, former Gov. Jeb Bush, in a wide-ranging interview with Education Next, pointed to Alexander Elementary in Tampa. In 1999, 36 percent of Alexander's students - overwhelmingly poor and minority - were reading at grade level, Bush said. In 2006, 72 percent were. "The principal, Dr. Manuel Duran, can testify to the changes he has seen because of accountability," Bush said in the interview, which you can find here.
Education Next also asked Bush about anemic progress among middle and high school students. Bush pointed to last year's FCAT scores, which showed big gains among middle school students for the first time ever. With this year's middle school FCAT scores due out Wednesday, The Gradebook thought it best to leave you with this Bush quote: "We are beginning to see the growing bubble of better-prepared students moving through the system." Stay tuned.
- Ron Matus, state education reporter
(Photo from State of Florida, 2003)