National lists say keep an eye on Jeb Bush, Florida Education Commissioner Eric J. Smith
For good or bad, Florida has made the nation pay attention to its education policies for more than a decade. So it doesn't come as a huge surprise that two Floridians - former Gov. Jeb Bush and current Education Commissioner Eric J. Smith - have landed on a couple of this year's who-to-watch-in-education lists.
Smith is on this list put together by the Christian Science Monitor because he's a member of the bipartisan "Chiefs for Change." Frankly, some folks are wondering whether Smith will have his job much longer, given that Gov. Rick Scott is the new sheriff in town. Then again, Jeb Bush's Foundation for Excellence in Education circulated the CSM list, so maybe the odds are in his favor.
Bush, meanwhile, makes this TIME.com list compiled by Eduwonk blogger and former President Clinton education adviser Andy Rotherham.
Rotherham writes: Since Jeb Bush left the Florida governor's office in 2007, his impact on education has been rippling through the Sunshine State and across the country. He compiled an impressive education record in Tallahassee, supporting more school choice (via vouchers, charter schools and online schools) as well as more accountability for schools — and managed to get reelected anyway. That helps explain why Republican officeholders want to be affiliated with his brand of reform (and many Democrats do, too, just in less visible ways), and Bush is happy to oblige.