Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush left his education foundation behind when he decided to run for president, but now that his 2016 presidential ambitions are behind him, he’s stepped back into his role as chairman for the Foundation for Excellence in Education (ExelinEd).
Former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice took the reins of the Foundation last year after Bush left the foundation at the end of 2014.
Rice will still remain on the group’s Board of Directors.
“One of the greatest challenges and opportunities we have in America today is to create a 21st century education system that ensures all students have the skills, teachers and educational options they need to succeed in life,” said Bush.
Bush founded ExcelinEd in 2008 as a way to promote education reform policies. ExcelinEd calls itself a “hands-on, how-to organization,” which provides model legislation, rule-making expertise, implementation strategies and public outreach.
The organization’s mission: to build an American education system that equips every child to achieve his or her “God-given potential.”
To reach that potential, ExcelinEd aims to get lawmakers to focus on ways to better the national education system to set them up for success in a rapidly changing world.
Using Florida as an example, ExcelinEd emphasizes several policies implemented in the Sunshine State (like A-F grading and education savings account) to improve learning for students nationwide.
The foundation has worked in 48 states across the country to push education reform, and the foundation said 15 states adopted 43 education laws as a result of its active engagement.
“Too many children right now are failed by a deeply flawed bureaucratic system, but I’m optimistic about the future because I’ve seen the great results produced by states across the country,” Bush continued. “It is an honor to rejoin ExcelinEd as we continue to support states in bringing choice, innovation and accountability to the classroom. I am thankful to Dr. Rice and this exceptional board for their leadership over the past year.”
Bush has long been involved in pushing education reform, especially in Florida. While he was governor, Bush made education a top priority in the Sunshine State, implementing the now widely used "A" through "F" grading system as well as a scholarship program to provide vouchers for students with learning disabilities to attend a school of their choice.
As a result, Florida, which notoriously sat at the bottom of the pack in national education rankings, proceeded to perform better and better with each passing year of the education reforms.
Florida has also narrowed the state’s achievement gap primarily as a result of Bush’s education reforms.
Bush was also elected to serve as the chairman of Excellence in Education in Action, the foundation’s sister organization.