Writing bills, finding funds: Bush’s foundation at work

Soon after leaving office in 2007, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush launched the Foundation for Excellence in Education to “ignite a movement of reform, state by state,” Reuters reports. A close examination of the foundation’s work, including a review of thousands of pages of email, shows the staff of two dozen has worked aggressively – if not always with immediate success – to shape public policy. Last fall the foundation flew Education Commissioner Stephen Bowen and other state schools chiefs to San Francisco for a three-day policy summit on topics ranging from online learning to teacher tenure. When he returned, Bowen sought help from the foundation, emailing the executive director, Patricia Levesque, to explain that he had “no ‘political’ staff who I can work with to move this stuff through the process.”

Click here for the full story

…Read More

Education leaders share ‘Five Things I’ve Learned’ on new Pearson Foundation website

The Pearson Foundation has announced a new online project that aims to share the insights of education leaders whose efforts are improving outcomes for students. “Five Things I’ve Learned” chronicles personal lessons learned from decades of real-world experience, sharing proven practice and wisdom about learning, teaching, and helping others, the organization says.

Launched with the lessons from 54 contributors, the website will add new voices each week, with the goal of extending the dialogue about what is working for students, teachers, and the school systems and community organizations that support them.

The first set of contributors features the perspectives of public leaders such as former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who is now chairman of the Foundation for Excellence in Education; education association veterans, such as AASA Executive Director Dan Domenech and ISTE CEO Don Knezek; and education innovators such as Chris Dede, Timothy E. Wirth professor of learning technologies at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education.…Read More

Rupert Murdoch giving keynote at Jeb Bush’s ed reform summit

The man chosen to give the breakfast keynote address on the second day of the upcoming National Summit on Education Reform 2011: Education Everywhere , is none other than … media mogul Rupert Murdoch, the Washington Post reports. Yes indeed, the Rupert Murdoch set to speak on technology’s power to transform education is the same Rupert Murdoch recently hauled before a British parliamentary committee to explain why a newspaper he owned had used technology to hack the phones of thousands of British citizens for years—including the phone of a murdered 13-year-old girl, thus interfering with the police investigation…

Click here for the full story

…Read More

Ex govs help launch Idaho education task force

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush visited Idaho on Tuesday to stump for public schools chief Tom Luna’s new education laws, saying similar changes are being implemented across the country and critics working to repeal the new laws should first wait for the results, the Miami Herald reports. Bush addressed a technology task force that was formed as part of Luna’s new education changes, which eventually will arm every high school student with a laptop while the state Board of Education considers making online courses a requirement for them to graduate in Idaho…

Click here for the full story

…Read More

Executives, policymakers want more technology in classrooms

No matter their overarching ideological differences, prominent CEOs, state politicians, and noteworthy political figures found common ground when they gathered in Washington this week to discuss the state of the nation’s educational system at a summit held by the Foundation for Excellence in Education, a group founded by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. That common ground? Technology, reports U.S. News & World Report. Whether it’s near-ubiquitous devices such as smartphones and iPads or social media meccas like Twitter, technology that has been developed within the past five years is woven into nearly everyone’s daily life. Yet the American school system has been left behind, educational policymakers point out. “It’s interesting to me that technology has actually transformed how we interact together socially. It has transformed how we do business, but technology has yet to transform how we provide education,” U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said at the Dec. 1 summit. “We could do simple stuff like eliminate art and music and cut days out of the school year…eliminate sports and band. [These are] simple things to do, none of which are good for children. Or we could think about how we’re going to become more productive, [and] how we’ll become more efficient using technology.” 

William Simon, CEO of the U.S. division of Wal-Mart, America’s largest employer, and Edward Rust, the top executive at insurance company State Farm, both indicated at the conference that they’re unsatisfied with the state of the incoming workforce, citing young workers’ general inability to efficiently use critical thinking skills and to adapt to the ever-changing technology that surrounds them on the job. Rust noted that 60 percent of applicants looking to join State Farm are unable to pass a basic entrance exam that focuses on the fundamentals of math and critical thinking. Wal-Mart has already responded to this problem by offering employees a chance to sharpen their mind and earn college credit at a discounted rate via American Public University, an online school. “We can’t even imagine what education or technology will be like in 10 years,” said Simon. “Students need to be not only trained in that, but they need to be taught how to learn.” 

Click here for the full story…Read More

Former governors fight for digital learning

The Council says it will create policies around digital learning. Copyright: Shareski
The newly formed Digital Learning Council says it will create policies around digital learning. Copyright: Shareski

Part of providing a 21st-century education means incorporating digital resources into the classroom, but not every school has the knowledge or necessary to implement education technology successfully. To help remedy this situation, former Republican Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida and former Democratic Gov. Bob Wise of West Virginia have put their party differences aside to head a new Digital Learning Council that will create implementation guidelines for states and schools.

According to Bush and Wise, technological innovations have already changed the way the nation works, shops, and entertains itself. The Digital Learning Council aims to help transform education by moving digital learning to the forefront of education and away from the niche role it plays today.

“Today, more than two million students take courses online and 1.5 million home education students take online courses, but that barely scratches the surface of what is possible through technology,” said a statement from the nonprofit Alliance for Excellent Education (AEE), of which Wise is president.…Read More