Former Florida governor Jeb Bush said the American educational system should eliminate teacher tenure and certification processes, and start rewarding teachers that are doing a good job.
Bush was in Chicago today to speak to the American Legislative Exchange Council, and he joined Bruce and Dan on 89 WLS to talk about his ideas for education reform.
“I think you need to separate the unions that collectively bargain for teachers and all the other employees in the school districts and teachers. The idea ought to be that teachers should be treated as professionals, and a great teacher should be rewarded with additional responsibilities and a lot more money, and bad teachers should not be in the classroom,” Bush said.
“A bad teacher basically means a kid is going to be penalized by about half a year of learning in a year’s time and a great teacher has the chance to improve learning gains by a year and a half. So the luck of the draw really determines in many cases whether a student succeeds. So I would eliminate tenure and focus on rewarding teachers for a job well done.”
Bush said his education plan would also do away with certification processes. He said they make eligibilty requirements for teachers too restrictive, Chicago being a prime example.
“Right now in Chicago and Illinois, it’s very restrictive who can teach. In Florida we have more alternatively certified teachers than the traditional certification process,” Bush said.
Bush also is a big proponent of school choice, including voucher programs that would allow parents of students with special needs and individual education plans to take their tax dollars and apply them toward a private school of their choice.
“It is a voucher program for, in the case of Florida, potentially half a million students. We have something like 30,000 kids right now in that program and it works. Because we include learning-disabled kids in our accountability system, Florida leads the nation in the NAEP test that measures aptitude for students in 4th and 8th grade. Across the country, we’re number one with kids with disabilities because they’re part of our accountability system, and we have school choice that allows parents to go to private schools.”
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the National Assessment of Educational Progress NAEP is the largest nationally representative and continuing assessment of what America’s students know and can do in various subject areas.