GOP legislators to speak at Bush-organized National Summit on Education Reform

October 07, 2011 | Last updated: July 31, 2020

State Rep. Erik Fresen and state Sen. Don Gaetz (both Republicans) will speak at the National Summit on Education Reform next week in San Francisco. The summit — organized by the Foundation for Excellence in Education, founded and led by former Gov. Jeb Bush — “offers an opportunity for lawmakers and policymakers to learn the nuts and bolts of reform.”

The Foundation for Excellence works at the national level to support the implementation of choice, competition, school vouchers and testing.

The Miami Herald reported Thursday that Fresen said that during the 2012 legislative session, “he expects to examine how college and university courses match job-market demands. Professor tenure may be part of the discussion.”

This is precisely what Fresen, a Miami Republican, will talk about in San Francisco. The summit’s agenda has Fresen on a five-member panel addressing “an end to tenure and destructive last-in, first-out policies. Salaries that reflect student learning rather than seniority. Learn how lawmakers and policymakers from states around the nation are changing the paradigm of the teaching profession.”

The Herald adds that Fresen thinks maximizing “the ‘profitability’ of the state-funded Florida Virtual School” and allocating “more taxdollars per student to charter schools” should “be on the table.”

Gaetz is one of two scheduled panelists who will speak about “Don’t Let a Financial Crisis Go To Waste,” which will address “the best and worst components of education funding formulas, and just what lawmakers and policymakers can do to get a better return-on-investment for their education dollars.”

Fernando Zulueta, president of Academica Corporation and Fresen’s brother-in-law, will also speak at the summit about expanding capacity of charter schools. According to the *Herald, *in April a Tallahassee mother of three filed an ethics complaint against state Fresen who voted in the House “for a broad charter schools reform bill.” Fresen called the complaint “another misguided attempt to create smoke where there is no fire.”