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Jeb Bush appears on ‘Al Punto’ to discuss education reform

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush appeared on Al Punto, a Spanish-language news program, on Sunday to promote his Foundation for Excellence in Education and his particular brand of education reform.

As chairman of the board and president of the Foundation, Bush is working at the national level to support the implementation of choice, competition, school vouchers and testing.

Bush said on Al Punto that laws need be changed in all 50 states to ensure students have access to digital learning, an important issue for the Foundation.

“There are barriers to digital learning, but content must and can be much better than what students currently receive,” Bush said. “There is a lack of good teachers in many places, especially in urban districts. In my opinion, part of the solution is the use of existing technology.”

According to Education Week, a recent U.S. Department of Education analysis based on 2009-10 data from 2,200 school districts shows that teachers in schools where the majority of students are African-American or Latino are “paid significantly less—approximately $2,500 per year.”

The Foundation for Excellence in Education held its National Summit on Education Reform last week; the goal was to offer “an opportunity for lawmakers and policymakers to learn the nuts and bolts of reform.”

Bush was joined on Al Punto by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, a Democrat who supported his state’s recent approval of the California DREAM Act.

Bush added that in order to make sure more Hispanics and other minorities make it to college, “we need to listen to the mayor,” adding that local reform to include everybody is necessary. Bush said there is a nationwide understanding that children’s expectations must be increased.

Bush said there is a philosophy that says that recent immigrant Hispanics cannot learn, and if “we reduce [children's] expectations we will get those results.”

Villaraigosa said schools must be reformed, “money must be invested where problem exists” and “we must have the most effective teachers.”

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