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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Jeb Bush puts the emphasis on education



Former Gov. Jeb Bush kicked off the prime time portion of the last night of the Republican National Convention by stressing the need to continue to raise standards in schools. Addressing a convention in prime time for the first time, the man known as Florida's "education governor" struck many of the themes he did as a two-term governor from 1999-2007.

"Of 34 advanced nations in the world, American students rank 17th in science, 25th in math," Bush said in remarks as prepared for delivery. "Only one-fourth of high school graduates are ready for their next steps. China and India produce eight times more engineering students each year  than the United States. There is a moral cost to our failing schools. We say that every child in America has an equal opportunity. Tell that to a kid in whose classroom learning isn’t respected. Tell that to a parent stuck in a school where there is no leadership. Tell that to a young, talented teacher who just got laid off because she didn’t have tenure.

"The sad truth is that equality of opportunity doesn’t exist in many of our schools. We give some kids a chance, but not all. That failure is the great moral and economic issue of our time. And it’s hurting all of America. I believe we can meet this challenge."

Bush received a standing ovation from the crowd of more than 4,000 delegates at the Tampa Bay Times Forum. His appearance came at a convention at which his older brother, former President George W. Bush, was barely mentioned. But Jeb didn't overlook him.

"And my brother, well -- I love my brother," Bush said. "He is a man of integrity, courage and honor. And during incredibly challenging times, he kept us safe."



[Last modified: Thursday, August 30, 2012 8:31pm]


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