Former President George W. Bush said Thursday he's still passionate about education, even though he considers himself to be only an observer of politics since he left office.
"Post-presidency is an interesting period for Laura and me. I'm out of politics. I loved being in the arena. I'm now an observer. But I still have a great passion, as does Laura, about education excellence,'' Bush said after a Denver meeting with local education leaders and Mayor Michael Hancock to talk about an initiative to train and recruit principals.
"We believe that an excellent school must first of all have an excellent leader,'' he said, describing the Bush Institute's Alliance to Reform Education Leadership.
The initiative seeks to change how principals are recruited, trained and evaluated.
Bush was visiting the offices of Get Smart Schools, a nonprofit Colorado group that trains principals for innovation in charter schools. The group is joining a national network that is part of the Bush Institute initiative. Get Smart Schools is one of 16 organizations working with the Bush Institute. Other organizations that are part of the initiative are in Georgia, New York, Illinois and California.
Bush touted Get Smarts Schools has set high expectations and the group believes "every child can learn and is willing to train leaders who believe that as well.''
Hancock, a Democrat, said Bush only spoke about education during the meeting and did not mention the debate in Congress over the reauthorization of the Bush-era No Child Left Behind law.