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Jeb Bush Helps Obama Sell Education as Bipartisan Issue

By Michele McNeil — March 04, 2011 1 min read
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President Barack Obama tours classrooms at Miami Central Senior High School.
—Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

President Obama kicked off what the White House is calling “education month” today at Miami Central Senior High School, a persistently low-performing school that received a School Improvement Grant from the feds.

He used a 30-minute speech to talk about the same old things we’ve been hearing from him for awhile now—the importance of school turnarounds, the success of Race to the Top, and the need to not cut federal spending in education.

But more important than his speech might be who he came with: ex-Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, a Republican and education uber-advocate, who sat on stage during the speech alongside U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.

Obama invoked Bush’s name in the speech as an example of how both parties can come together on education.

(For more background on Jeb Bush’s growing influence in education across the country, read this story by my colleague Sean Cavanagh, and for more about the history between the Obama and Bush, see this Sun Sentinel story.)

Obama wanted “to make the point that by having former Governor Jeb Bush join him at this event that he firmly believes what I think most Americans believe and that certainly former Governor Bush believes, and that is that education and education reform are not Democratic issues, they’re not Republican issues, they’re American issues,” Obama press secretary Jay Carney said before the event, according to a White House pool report.

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