Saheli*: Musings and Observations
Tuesday, July 06, 2004
 
A Note on Jeb Bush

Interestingly, the conventional wisdom is that the smart Bush is Florida governor Jeb. Like his brother, he's a big proponent of the kind of incessant testing that puts teachers (whom Republicans usually don't like) in a curricular straight-jacket. From Florida's Dept. of Education Website: "The primary purpose of the FCAT is to assess student achievement of the high-order cognitive skills represented in the Sunshine State Standards (SSS) in Reading, Writing, Mathematics, and Science." Note the word skills, not knowledge. Governor Bush seems to be lacking in said skills:


Bush was giving a speech to high school students who mentor younger children in reading. Luana Marques, 18, asked Gov. Bush a basic geometry question taken from the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test.
The question: "What are the angles on a three-four-five-triangle?"
Bush smiled and stalled a bit. His answer was 125, 90 and whatever remains on 180.
Marques corrected him with the answer: 30-60-90.
Bush thanked Marques for the right answer and then launched into a defense of the FCAT. Bush said that to graduate, every Florida public school student must pass the test, which he considers the cornerstone of his education policy.
In his defense, Bush said, "The fact that a 51-year-old man can't answer a question is really not relevant."


I would like to note for the reader that 125 + 90 = 215, which is significantly greater than 180. But my real point is that his quote is very revalatory: he obviously regards this as knowledge that one can forget. He essentially stood there and tried to remember or guess and then blurted out some combination thereof. But he didn't think it out, because if he had thought it out, he would have at least come up with something that added up to 180. Blurting something out and then making lame excuses when you're wrong is no way to run a state or country, as we've all found out over the last four years.
 


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Saheli Datta started this when she was a journalism student at Columbia in New York. Now she lives in the Bay Area. *Old people call me R. New people, call me Saheli. Thanks! My homepage. Specifically, my links. Email me: Saheli [AT] Gmail [dot] Com

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