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Former FL Gov. Jeb Bush Talking Edu. Reform in Mississippi

By Daniel Cherry | Published 07 Aug 2012 07:08pm | comments
Mississippi political leaders are promising big changes to the state's public education system in the 2013 legislative session. MPB's Daniel Cherry reports how former Florida Governor Jeb Bush joined up with Mississippi leaders to promote education reform.
 
While speaking to a standing room only crowd at the Old Capitol Museum in downtown Jackson on Tuesday, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush touted the education changes he made in his state. Some of those changes include adding charter schools, higher academic standards for students, and expansion of voucher programs that promote school choice.
 
"There is no one silver bullet. It's across the board competition, focus on paying teachers for a job well done, accountability, focusing on the earlier years. All these things really are part of a strategy I think will yield achievement. That's what this ought to be about."
 
In the 2013 legislative session, Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant says reforming education will be his top priority. Bryant says some of his main objectives are to see charter schools passed, along with performance based pay for teachers. 
 
"Of course we're trying our best to make sure that we increase our curriculum. The challenge, for example, for teachers so that we can get the best teachers in the best classrooms. I feel much better about where we're at going into next year than I have in quite a while regarding public schools in Mississippi."
 
Charter school legislation failed to pass the House Education Committee last session. Committee Chairman John Moore wants to get that bill through his committee in the coming session.
 
"There will always be 100 reasons to not change or not improve. 'This is the way we've been doing it. We do not want to change. This is the way we've done it.' I have no desire to do that. I have a desire to change the system dramatically, radically."
 
Mississippi typically ranks at the bottom when it comes to academic achievement. Education policymakers are banking on merit pay for teachers, the creation of charter schools, and changing the way schools are graded to turn the tide.
 

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