Jeb Bush’s Foundation for Excellence: Poster Child for Influence Peddling

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Earlier this month, Governor Bush talked with the editors of Education Next about the legacy of the Florida reforms, his support for the Common Core State Standards, and his vision for education in the United States.  Education Next published the interview on its website here.

I responded to the article on their website, but my comment has not been published yet.

Here is what I wrote:

Mr. Bush’s analysis of his organization’s work is disingenuous.  

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Authoritarian Spray: How the Spread of Standardization is Damaging Public Schools With Its Canopy of a Common Core, High-Stakes Testing and Market-Based Hooey

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A picture is worth a thousand words. Please accept apologies because my title is nearly a picture. I just couldn’t pinch the title to a few words. That said…

The authoritarian spray of standardization has spread harm and inflicted damage to America’s public schools during the last two decades. The profits from standardized tests and teaching materials associated with the Common Core have overwhelmed the nature of learning in public school classrooms that one wonders if  this goliath, which has trampled on the very heart of education in a democratic society, can be brought down.… Read more

What’s Common Here: Teacher Education, Authoritarian Reform, Poverty, & Charter Schools?

In this first blog post in nearly two months, I want to introduce you to four areas of inquiry that have been explored on this blog over the past 10 years.

Over the next month, I’ll be uploading links to landing pages, each of which is a kind of inquiry or an investigation of themes that appeared on the Art of Teaching Science Blog.


The first four areas of inquiry are up on the blog website, and they are:

  • Assault on Teacher Education:  The assault on teacher education is being led by neoliberal and conservative ideologues who want to de-professionalize teaching, and one of the places to do this is by attacking the nation’s colleges and universities that prepare teachers.
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Bush’s Education Foundation and Influence Peddling: Any Truth to It?

The Foundation for Excellence in Education (ExcelinEd) is an organization founded in 2008 by Jeb Bush.  After reading about Bush’s claims that American teens were falling behind in math and science, and listening to his most recent speech at the Heritage Institute, I decided to investigate ExcelinEd, to find out what it is up to, and the extent of its intrusion into the various state’s education policies.  I also wanted to find out to what extent there is influence peddling going on, and any reports on the Foundation’s connections with private companies that sell products and services to public school systems.… Read more

Do Some Charter and Title I Schools Use a Pedagogy of Indoctrination


"Creative Commons Allensworth Classroom by Joseph Vasquez  CC By 2.0
“Creative Commons Allensworth Classroom” by Joseph Vasquez is Licensed under  CC By 2.0

I might be off my rocker on this post, but I want to get it out there, and ask you if there might be some truth in my claim.  My claim is that the No Child Left Behind Act set in motion a culture of schooling which seeks conformity and an authority to which participants must subscribe, meaning teachers, students and their parents. … Read more

In Science Teaching, What Does it Mean to Teach Evolution Objectively?

In a comment about the earlier post on this blog, Evolution Might be a Law, But Student Ideas are Important, Dr. Robert Lattimer, President of Citizens for Objective Public Education, raised an important idea about science teaching.  When evolution is taught in our schools, it should be taught objectively.

In context, here is what Dr. Lattimer wrote:

You say “there is now no alternative explanation of evolution….” That is only true if you accept methodological naturalism (an unproven assumption) and ignore the lines of evidence listed above.

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How to Make Sense out of Educational Reform

P.L. Thomas explains that to understand U.S. educational reform, foundational differences among the various groups or camps of reform need to be clarified.  And, in a post he wrote this week, he has provided a map that we can use to help us understand educational reform.

He states that all reform is driven by ideology.  He says:

and thus, those ideologies color what evidence is highlighted, how that evidence is interpreted, and what role evidence plays in claims public education has failed and arguments about which policies are needed for reform.

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Georgia’s Governor Deal & Superintendent Barge Need to Think Differently

Political and corporate reformers claim that American schools and students have been left in the dust by schools and students in other counties.

The claim is based on faulty international and state achievement test analyses. And using faulty conclusions, a “weigh the cow” policy emerged in which we test the heck out of students thinking this makes them smarter. And to make matters worse we redefine how fat the cow should be each year.… Read more

Messing with Georgia’s Social Studies Curriculum

According to the Governor of Georgia, now is the time to write a new social studies curriculum. Why now? Well, Mr. Deal has signed on to the Common Core, but rumblings from his own political party, especially the right-wing Tea Party have caused him to possibly reconsider the Common Core. But why the social studies curriculum?

In my opinion, Deal’s order to review and possibly rewrite the social studies curriculum is probably more of a political move than one that has any remote connection to a scholarly examination of what is taught in history, political science, geography, economics, and other “subjects” of the social studies.… Read more

Trojan Horse On Midnight Ride to Manage How Georgia Teachers Will Be Paid

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When the state of Georgia received a half billion dollars of Race to the Top funds from the U.S. Department of Education, it agreed to carry out several mandates, but two that stand out are:

  • Adopt the Common Core State Standards
  • Use Student Tests Scores as a Metric for Evaluating Teacher Performance

In a recent article in the Marietta Daily Journal, it was reported the the School Board of Marietta is considering a new compensation plan that will essentially replace the current system in which teachers are rewarded for their experience and their ability.… Read more