Jeb Bush speaks enthusiastically about the passage of SB 6 in Florida Senate

Bush, who made major changes in education during his two terms as governor that were bitterly fought by unions and Democrats,  was asked by MSNBC's Mike Barnicle if it was fair to put so much emphasis on students success on teachers when it some cases the child comes from a home where education is not emphasized (a question that brought cheers from the studio audience).

"Well one of the ways you do it is based on learning gains, not based on proficiency on how the number of students learning at grade level at the end of the year.  You measure - you have a baseline - in Florida we have great data, so we can measure where students start, and where they end.  In a years worth of knowledge and in a years time irrespective of the background of the child can be achieved."

Bush said there will be a lot more testing that measures not just reading and math but other classes as well in the future, which he welcomes.

As he has previously, the governor, who has been a fierce critic of President Obama on a number of issues, gave praise to the  President and Education Secretary Arne Duncan for challenging unions and "putting students first, rather than adults in the system."

Bush failed to take the bait when asked by host Joe Scarborough to give an endorsement on the Charlie Crist/Marco Rubio race for the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate.

This morning on MSNBC's Morning Joe program (broadcast live from Alexander Elementary School in Tampa), former Florida Governor Jeb Bush lavishly praised the Florida Senate for passing SB 6 yesterday, the legislation that among other things, would make it easier to eliminate teacher job security for new hires and tie their pay increases to student performance.

The legislation has been excoriated by the teacher unions and Democrats, but passed in the Republican led legislature yesterday by a 21-17 vote.  Debate on a House companion bill begins this morning.

Bush, who is a close ally with the sponsor of the Senate bill, Jacksonville Republican John Thrasher, said this morning on the cable news program that "I think it's a great bill.  Implemented right it will make the teaching profession truly a profession." He added it would take time to get the data in place to accurately measure learning gains for students (under the bill, the performance standards that would determine teacher pay would begin in 2014).   

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