Governor Rick Scott angered education advocates by holding a secret meeting with former Gov. Jeb Bush. The two discussed education policy. The current and former governor won’t say much more than that.
Governor Scott organized a three-day education summit the last week of August that brought together some of the state’s most influential education policy folks.The meeting in Clearwater began on Monday and tackled a range of contentious issues: including the introduction of new education standards—and a plan for how to test on them.
Along with the politicians, attendees included parents, teachers and journalists.
Noticeably absent? The man who called the meeting: Governor Scott.
Which is part of why parent groups and Florida education critics were particularly miffed to learn Scott held a private, off-the-record meeting with former Governor Jeb Bush the following Thursday.
“He’s not an education leader, he’s not a good leader if he needs someone to make decisions for him.”
Lourdes Perez Ramirez is founder of HispanEduca—a non-profit group dedicated to increasing parent access to education policy.
“Really I'm not surprised that Scott was absent from the summit. I think he’s been absent from education completely by letting others such as Jeb Bush and the private sector decide what education should be in Florida.”
Former Gov. Bush’s office declined to talk about the meeting afterwards.
Gov. Scott did not respond to interview requests. A representative from Scott’s office did write in an email that “they had a very productive conversation about education in Florida.” But did not respond to questions about the details.