PolitiFact Dubs Bush Education Claim “Mostly False”

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PolitiFact has also taken a look at some of the things that Jeb Bush has had to say on the topic of education, and come up with some concerns about claims he’s made about the impact of his actions in Florida.

For example, Bush as Governor banned racial preference in state school admissions, and claimed it had a beneficial effect:

I eliminated affirmative action by executive order — trust me, there were a lot of people upset about this… But through hard work, we ended up having a system where there were more African American and Hispanic kids attending our university system than prior to the system that was discriminatory.

According to PolitiFact, “Bush is exaggerating what the policy accomplished.”

The raw numbers of black and Hispanic students are up, but the percentage of black students in the state university system is down slightly since Bush’s order. The number of Hispanic students has gone up considerably, but that is partly because of a recent change in how students report ethnicity during the admissions process. There’s no hard evidence Bush’s One Florida program had much to do with the enrollment changes. Experts say demographics, graduation rates and state-sponsored scholarship money have had more influence.

As I’ve said before, changing views or making claims that can’t be supported isn’t perhaps as big an issue as some of us would think it would be, but Bush has put a lot of stock into his education record so maybe he’s the exception.

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Alexander Russo

Alexander Russo is a freelance education writer who has created several long-running blogs such as the national news site This Week In Education, District 299 (about Chicago schools), and LA School Report. He can be reached on Twitter at @alexanderrusso, on Facebook, or directly at alexanderrusso@gmail.com.