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The Bennett flap drew attention to a weakness of a cherished Bush policy: Grading all public schools on an A-F scale. As Florida residents have seen up close, the grading formulas are easy to manipulate, either through transparent changes or behind closed doors. That has parents, policy makers and even Bush loyalists grumbling. “The poor teachers don’t know what the criteria are going to be from year to year, and students don’t know, either,” said Florida State Sen. Alan Hays, a Republican.

Recent scandals are finally forcing some politicians and the wider public to confront what public school educators, students and parents already knew: high-stakes test scores and school grading formulas frequently serve as easily-manipulated political tools, not sound measures of educational quality.

And education policy researchers, like the fellows at the National Education Policy Center, have been critiquing the policies Jeb Bush, FEE & Chiefs for Change like to promote for several years now:

A great deal of money and effort is being spent to promote a package of reforms known as the “Florida Formula.” But this policy push, being led by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush’s Foundation for Excellence in Education, rests on overstated and ungrounded claims about the existence, extent, and causes of improved achievement, according to a new review of the Foundation’s contentions.

Click through the photo to read the rest of the POLITICO story, and click here to read more research-backed rebuttals of the “Florida Formula.”

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