Jeb Bush, the former Florida governor who has been promoting education reforms across the nation, applauded a number of proposed Oklahoma laws Wednesday, including one that would give schools an “A” through “F” letter grade based on student performance.
“Oklahoma has got it right in terms of comprehensive reforms,” Bush said. “If you put together a comprehensive strategy you can make the needle move. You can make a difference.”
Bush was in town as the key note speaker for the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs annual Citizenship Award Dinner held at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum on Wednesday night.
The last time he was in town, he helped raise campaign funds for Gov. Mary Fallin and state schools Superintendent Janet Barresi.
House Bill 1456, which would use a number of student performance measures to grade school districts on an “A” through “F” scale, is similar to a policy implemented in Florida early in Bush's tenure.
“We saw immediate improvement,” Bush said. “I can't tell you how powerful that is to get people to say ‘holy schnarkey.'”
In Oklahoma, schools are scored on a national 0-1,500 point scale based on student performance known as the Academic Performance Index. API scores are published for every school.
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