Last week, the Tampa Bay Times, the biggest newspaper in Florida, published a front-page story about Jeb Bush’s still-substantial influence in Florida education reform. The headline was fair and straightforward — “Jeb Bush shaping education in Florida” — but then came the blurb beneath it: “Lawmakers listen. Private and charter schools and online learning benefit.”
When Sen. David Simmons needed his colleagues’ support on the education budget last week, he dropped a powerful name on the Senate floor.
“I had a conversation last week with former Gov. Jeb Bush in which we discussed this and his support of it,” Simmons said of the provision to spend $119 million on reading programs at low-income schools.
It’s a little bit baffling how an editor or copy editor could read that lead — about Bush supporting a big-ticket effort to help struggling readers in public schools — and then write the aforementioned blurb. But the truth is – and we say this respectfully to our friends in the media — that kind of thing happens fairly often in reporting about school choice. It feeds a narrative we don’t think is rooted in reality. And we think it’s time somebody set the record straight.
Since we call our blog redefinED, it might as well as be us. So, today, we humbly introduce rebuttED, complete with funky new logo!
Behind the silly goat horns, rebuttED is what we’re going to tag blog posts that aim to chip away at misinformation circulated by anyone who shapes public opinion about school choice and other aspects of school reform we find critical. It might be a newspaper. It might be a lawmaker. It might be an interest group.