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Report: One Florida work not finished (Jeb's education plan IS working)
Treasure Coast Business Journal (through Google cache) ^ | July 7, 2002 | Michael Peltier

Posted on 10/19/2002 9:26:13 AM PDT by Ragtime Cowgirl

Report: One Florida work not finished

By Michael Peltier Tallahassee correspondent
July 7, 2002

picture TALLAHASSEE Four years ago, political observers said Gov. Jeb Bush had put his political life on the line when he abolished traditional affirmative action protections in college admission and the awarding of state government contracts.

"It's politically risky," University of South Florida political researcher Susan McManus said in the days following Bush's unveiling of One Florida Initiative. "It's either going to work or it isn't and it will be very easy to tell."

One Florida sparked a firestorm of protest, including a march on the capital by more than 10,000 opponents. However flawed, affirmative action was needed to protect against the type of institutional racism that dogged students of color and minority contractors competing against better connected white-owned firms for a piece of the government pie, critics argued.

Well, initial reports on the contracting aspect came out in mid-June and it appears Bush's plan has paid dividends.

"The commission finds that the state is doing a better job at tracking spending with minority vendors and has effectively conveyed to its purchasing agents the desire to increase spending with minority vendors," the commission wrote summarizing its findings.

"The state has also boosted its anti-discrimination efforts, started a loan mobilization program for minority vendors and generally created a climate of greater friendliness toward minority businesses."

Created in November 1999, the One Florida plan prohibits set aside programs and price preferences in purchases from agencies reporting directly to the governor.

The plan called for streamlining the minority business certification system and holding purchasing agents more accountable to actively seek out and award minority contracts. In place of percentages, the plan called for more active advertising and recruiting of minority-owned firms.

Other state agencies have the option to use the same voluntary incentives, but most have not done so, according to the report.

The results are still impressive. Purchases from certified minority businesses have leapt from $263 million in 1999 to $549 million last year, according to commission findings. That's a doubling of minority business contracts and does not include purchases from minority-owned companies that did not officially register as such.

Agencies reporting to the governor made up the bulk of new purchases, increasing their minority spending by 160 percent. Nonparticipating agencies saw their minority purchases rise by 40 percent.

The commission, however, had a number of suggestions to make the program even more successful. Included in its laundry list. the oversight board recommended:

  • Enhancing regionalized spending to increase contracts with minority businesses outside the Tallahassee area.

  • Further streamlining the process of minority business certification.

  • Improving accountability measures to ensure that minority subcontractors are being used as described in contract bids.

  • Increasing emphasis on utilizing minority-owned businesses for professional services such as legal, accounting and consulting services.

  • More diversity among the state's purchasing agents.

  • Further assisting minority-owned businesses that wish to expand by utilizing other state government programs including Front Porch

    One Florida has indeed shown initial success, but the critical test will not be seen for years. That's when it will be shown whether the impressive advances made in recent years become systemic and not merely the result of one governor's resolve.

    (Michael Peltier covers business issues in Tallahassee for the Business Journal).


TOPICS: Activism/Chapters; Business/Economy; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: Florida
KEYWORDS: affirmativeaction; courage; education; fea; jebbush; mcbride; naacp; nea; schoolchoice; teachersunions
For more information on One Florida, the courage of Jeb Bush in pushing for his plan against the most powerful special interest groups invested in keeping the failed NEA/affirmative action status quo, and the Florida Supreme Court, see:
One Florida, FR links.

The papers were praising Jeb's education efforts last summer. Now much of Florida's press parrots the McBride-FEA-DNC-NAACP criticism.....putting politics ahead of the facts: the success of minorities under Jeb's plan, the children who now have a choice to leave their failed schools, and the schools motivated to improve by the competetion.

1 posted on 10/19/2002 9:26:13 AM PDT by Ragtime Cowgirl
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To: summer; floriduh voter; JulieRNR21; Goldwater Girl; PhiKapMom; Wait4Truth; redlipstick; ...
Lost in the current pro-McBride election coverage is the truth about Jeb's real initial successes with One Florida.

McBride is against Jeb's One Florida because the left is against One Florida. It fosters competition, demands accountability, aims to actually educate the children, and it is helping minority students -without affirmative action.

Instead of celebrating the success, Jesse Jackson and the NAACP filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education's civil rights office "alleging racial disparities in Florida schools. Jackson said that minority students are more likely to be in overcrowded classrooms, be suspended, expelled and moved to special education programs." (Naples Daily News, July 2, 2002).

One Florida under Jeb is clearly helping minority students without the label of affirmative action, proving that Jesse Jackson, the NAACP, Bill McBride, and the Democratic party put politics ahead of the people they claim to represent.

Please let me know if you want on or off my "'til election day" Fla. ping list.
2 posted on 10/19/2002 10:32:43 AM PDT by Ragtime Cowgirl
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Expecting a man as thoroughly beholden to the educrats as Bill McBride to undo the mess the NEA has created in America's schools would be like expecting a Mafia don to solve the problem of organized crime.
Back to the Slime Pit

"To suggest that any private school is better than a public school is disgraceful.."- Bill McBride

3 posted on 10/19/2002 10:40:57 AM PDT by Ragtime Cowgirl
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To: Ragtime Cowgirl
4 posted on 10/19/2002 10:41:31 AM PDT by lodwick
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To: summer
Thanks to our Jeb and education expert, summer:

Jeb's Higher Education Plan Is Clearly Helping Minorities [One Florida works], Tampa Tribune, Mar. '02.
NAACP loses college admissions battle [Appeals court decides in favor of Jeb and One Florida], Orlando Sentinel, Mar. '02.
Gov. Bush, education leaders tout success of One Florida plan, Naples Daily News, Mar. '02
UF Admissions of Minorities Rise [More good news for Jeb's One Florida plan], The Lakeland Ledger, April '02.
Jeb's One Florida program is a winner for minorities [The Tampa Tribune's editors praise Jeb], Tampa Tribune, May '02
Governor's One Florida Gives Minorities A Needed Boost, Tampa Tribune, June '02.

Summer, when did the papers stop supporting Jeb and school choice, and start supporting the NEA-FEA-DNC massive public education push w/ the "class-size" amendment? Two months before the primary election, it appears.

5 posted on 10/19/2002 11:25:10 AM PDT by Ragtime Cowgirl
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To: Ragtime Cowgirl
Thanks Ragtime0
6 posted on 10/19/2002 11:31:48 AM PDT by Goldwater Girl
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To: Ragtime Cowgirl
"One Florida under Jeb is clearly helping minority students without the label of affirmative action, proving that Jesse Jackson, the NAACP, Bill McBride, and the Democratic party put politics ahead of the people they claim to represent."

Politics and THEMSELVES ahead of the people they claim to represent.
7 posted on 10/19/2002 11:38:22 AM PDT by windchime
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To: Ragtime Cowgirl
bttt. I think Gov Bush should mention One FL more in his campaign speeches, especially since 65% of FL voters polled by St Pete/Miami approve of it.
8 posted on 10/19/2002 1:43:19 PM PDT by summer
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To: summer
I thought you might enjoy this (you knew!):  

July 6, 2001

Review & Outlook

What Teachers Really Think - Education Secretary Rod Paige had a wake-up call for the National Education Association during its convention in Los Angeles this week. He told the nation's largest teachers union that competition in education is inevitable. "It's tempting to pretend public schools are exempt from the law of supply and demand," he said. "They are not. This pretension will destroy our system."

Secretary Paige pointed out that while education spending is at a record high, it has had little effect: "For 35 years, we've tried to address our failing schools the same way. We've just given them more money, without focusing on results."

The union's delegates gave Mr. Paige respectful attention and then proceeded to consider the usual host of left-leaning proposals on the agenda. Among the actions made was the creation of a task force to determine if the NEA should formally support gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender curricula in public schools. Teachers we spoke with were in wonder at the disconnect between the urgent call for action issued by Secretary Paige and the NEA's interest in social policy in schools.

Evidence keeps piling up that the national union isn't really representative of its 2.6 million members. For instance, only 59% of them voted for the union-backed Al Gore. This and other data come from a confidential survey of its own members that the NEA commissioned last November. Last week, the survey was leaked to the Education Intelligence Agency, a watchdog group.

The poll makes fascinating reading. Though national and state teachers unions give more than 95% of their PAC contributions to Democrats, the NEA's membership is quite diverse politically. Only 48% of members are Democrats, 24% are Republicans and 28% are independents. That explains why an NEA endorsement of a candidate like Mr. Gore isn't greeted with universal approval. While 57% of members said they were more likely to vote for a candidate recommended by the national union, 27% said such an endorsement would make them less likely to vote that way.

When asked if the NEA's materials on the 2000 elections presented candidates in a fair and balanced way, only 25% of GOP members and 36% of independents thought so. Indeed, only 62% of NEA Democrats thought the union's materials were fair and balanced.

The gap between the NEA's leadership and its members also showed up in a list of 10 issues members were shown and asked if it was important that the NEA "speak out" on them.

Members said that by far the least important of the 10 issues for the union to address was "private school vouchers," an issue the union has vociferously fought for years. Only 19% said it was "very important" to address vouchers and another 19% thought it was "somewhat important." But 22% said it was "not very important" and a surprising 39% said it was "not at all important." No doubt a majority of public school teachers oppose vouchers, but they certainly don't seem to think they are worth the jihad against them that their union bosses have mounted.
URL for this Article:

Additional link from Point of View

9 posted on 10/19/2002 5:23:19 PM PDT by Ragtime Cowgirl
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To: Ragtime Cowgirl; The Right Stuff; nicmarlo
RC, Thanks for posting that. I hadn't seen it! TRS and N - FYI. :)
10 posted on 10/19/2002 6:34:05 PM PDT by summer
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To: The Right Stuff; nicmarlo
PS Above post - re post #9 - a fascinating survey about the actual political leanings of NEA (union) school-teachers.
11 posted on 10/19/2002 6:35:01 PM PDT by summer
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To: Ragtime Cowgirl


12 posted on 10/21/2002 5:31:45 PM PDT by M Kehoe
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To: M Kehoe
At its national meeting last week, held just 90 miles south of Milwaukee in Chicago, the NEA reaffirmed its commitment to fight against voucher programs, including the imposition of a five-year, $5 fee increase for members with the specific purpose of fighting education reform initiatives.

NEA spokesperson Barbara Parker told WorldNetDaily that three dollars of the fee increase will be earmarked to challenging "anti-public education measures such as vouchers" at the ballot box. The other two dollars will fund a nationwide pro-public education media campaign.

July 1998.

13 posted on 10/21/2002 5:51:38 PM PDT by Ragtime Cowgirl
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14 posted on 10/22/2002 6:34:11 AM PDT by Ragtime Cowgirl
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