One part of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush’s resume sets him apart from many of the other potential Republican presidential contenders: a longstanding focus on education policy.
As he travels around the country giving speeches -- and titillating political journalists and donors -- Bush has highlighted some of the education policies he advocated during his gubernatorial tenure, which relied heavily on achievement benchmarks, and chastised those who resisted.
Bush likes to remind audiences how far Florida came on education benchmarks and how far the nation still has to go to raise its standards.
During a May 12 speech at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, a conservative think-tank, Bush said the U.S. lags behind other countries -- including some unexpected nations -- on some key educational measures.
"There is nothing more critical to our long-term economic security than a wholesale transformation of our education system," Bush said. "The latest results from the Program for International Student Assessment, better known as PISA, only confirm the urgency of our charge."
He continued, "U.S. teenagers have now fallen behind their counterparts in Ireland, Poland and even Vietnam in math and science. Between 2003 and 2012, the United States flatlined its results, but many other countries have made a command focus on this. ... There have been more resources placed in this, and they have higher expectations of their children, and they have gotten a better result. So for those that think … poverty is the reason why we haven’t had the educational gains, I guess we should really look to the wealthy countries like Vietnam to determine whether we should be successful. Come on!"
We thought we’d check whether Bush was correct that teenagers in Ireland, Poland and Vietnam rank higher than their U.S. counterparts in math and science. Turn to PolitiFact for the answer.