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School grade changes highlight Rick Scott-Jeb Bush split

The state Board of Education's decision last week to inflate school grades for a second year was widely praised by parents and educators, but it also exposed a hard-to-miss rift between the closest allies of former Gov. Jeb Bush and those who back Gov. Rick Scott.

The 4-3 decision to reduce the number of F schools in the state by nearly 60 percent was divided along Bush-Scott lines, with Bush allies against.

None of the seven board members nor Education Commissioner Tony Bennett would speak with the Times/Herald about Tuesday's vote.

Their silence, however, has fueled speculation about the motives on each side. Scott allies have been accused of padding grades to help Scott's re-election prospects.

Bush's closest allies — including former chiefs of staff Kathleen Shanahan and Sally Bradshaw, and John Padget, whom Bush appointed superintendent of Monroe County schools — face questions about trying to punish public schools to help make the case for private and charter school expansion. Bush's private Foundation for Florida's Future lobbied against the change.

Read more here.


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Can't take anymore

JEB!, Inc. has long seen education as an enormous cash cow for their family and corporate friends to plunder. His legacy appointees will try to keep this going as long as they can. Meanwhile, schools are more crowded, teachers are ever more frustrated by the endless "testing" that replaced their curriculum and parents are more alienated from the schools their children attend.


Rick Scott hates Jeb Bush. They can't stand each other.

A PTA mom

Jeb is clearly doing everything he can for charter schools and to expand vouchers, at the expense of quality public education.

I am glad Scott is not letting him get his way, even if it is for political purposes.

Our students and state deserve a quality public education system, stop listening to Jeb Bush he is advocating for his friends not our kids.


The Jeb apostles are shameless. Kathleen Shanahan admitted during the discussion before the vote that the school grade formula is statistically INVALID. The Commissioner agreed. This notion that the 1 grade rule pads school grades is RIDICULOUS! The formula for school grades has a total of 800 points. However, a drop of 80 points can result in a 2 letter grade drop. How is a 10% drop worth 2 letter grades? Nobody with an ounce of integrity is questioning motives here. Bush's motive is to expand private use of public money for the personal gain of himself and his allies.

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