The State of Our Schools: Is Florida the Model? Mississippi’s Leaders Take a Cue

ANGELA PASCOPELLA's picture
Monday, January 14, 2013

Jackson, meet Tallahassee. As a new legislative session heavily focused on education issues begins in Mississippi’s capital, much of its inspiration will come from Florida.

In 1999, the Sunshine State began a series of school reforms under then-Gov. Jeb Bush. Supporters cite those actions as having a dramatic effect on improving the state’s schools. Critics caution the picture is much more complex.

As their debate continues, Bush now heads a foundation that seeks to spread his ideas to other states, and Mississippi is among those browsing the menu.

He spoke to lawmakers in August, and his Foundation for Excellence in Education has made several trips to the state. It is providing input to a Department of Education committee tweaking the way Mississippi’s schools are rated.

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