Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Triangulation Man: Obama & Jeb Bush BFF

The latest exciting chapter of Triangulation Man

Our less than fearless hero, Triangulation Man, will appear at Miami Central Senior High with former Gov. Jeb Bush.

WASHINGTON -- — President Barack Obama will share a political stage at a Miami high school Friday with former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, giving the president’s education initiative a bi-partisan boost.

The Republican governor, who last summer criticized Obama as “childish” for continuing to blame the sluggish economy on former President George W. Bush, will join the president and Education Secretary Arne Duncan at Miami Central Senior High School where Obama is to deliver remarks on his push for improving U.S. schools.

Despite his spirited defense of his brother, Bush has lauded some of Obama’s education efforts and has said he believes education is one area where the political parties can find common ground.

Getting a compliment on education policy from Bush is the basketball equivalent of Shaquille O'Neal complimenting your free throw skills.

How bad were Jeb Bush's education policies? Let me tell you.

Bush stated that evolution doesn't need to be taught in schools.

Bush said last week he did not think Darwin's theory of evolution needed to be part of the state's public school science standards, according to an account in the Miami Herald.

"I think people have different points of view and they can be discussed in school," Bush said. "They don't need to be in the curriculum."

Bush installed the FCAT test to grade teacher competence. Former state senators Les Miller and Skip Campbell discovered FACT tests were graded by unqualified temps from Kelly Services.

Bush was the first governor to use school vouchers. The voucher program was a scam. Instead of parents getting a tax-paid public school education, the politically connected Dyslexia Research Institute lobbied for legislation that made parents pay $5,000 fees. The Dyslexia Research Institute was getting $5,100 of state voucher money and $5,000 from parents for every disabled pupil. The school's director at that time was Patricia Hardman. A court case found that Hardman had no education background or training.

Judge P. Michael Ruff cited testimony from other experts when he decided that it wasn't proven that any such malady exists. Ruff then criticized Hardman's credentials: "Dr. Hardman does not have a degree in psychology, is not certified or licensed in Florida or any other state as a psychologist, is not currently certified as a teacher in Florida or any other state, and holds no certificate in the area of special education in Florida or any other state."

Yet Hardman was able to have one-on-one meeting in Bush's office. This is who Triangulation Man wants to align himself with on education policy.

"What I saw was that 90 percent of the energy went to undermining our public schools with vouchers and charters," said Jim Warford, Bush's former Former K-12 education chancellor.

Bush attempted to defeat the class size amendment. After the amendment was approved, Bush attempted to have voters remove it from the Florida constitution. Reducing class size isn't a cure all for education. It will make classes less unruly and give teachers more one-one-one time with students. Bush is against it is because he isn't committed to making public schools better. Valerie

Washington Post education blogger Valerie Strauss points out how spectacularly stupid it is for Triangulation Man to appear with Bush.

So, at this point in time, when teachers in Wisconsin and elsewhere feel besieged, I’m wondering why Obama and Education Secretary Arne Duncan are flying to Florida to be with Republicans who have been part of the attack force. Why, when teachers are fighting for union rights, does the president decide to spend time with anti-teachers union school reformers?

The answer is triangulation is more important than governing.

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