President Obama and Jeb Bush to Make Joint Appearance at Miami High School

Categories: Politicks
Politics and publicity opportunities make strange bedfellows. President Barack Obama and former Gov. Jeb Bush will appear together this Friday at Miami Central High School. Obama will be in town for a Democratic fundraiser but will swing by the school with Bush to address ways to turn around low-performing schools. Do we dare ask if the joint appearance will end in a hug?

Bush and Obama share little common policy ground, but they do have some overlapping views on education reform.

Bush stands a bit above some of the pettiness of other members of his party and seems to respect the office of the presidency enough to publicly appear with the president for a cause he believes in, but it is a bit odd for a few reasons: 

  • We all remember the time Obama made a joint appearance with then-Gov. Charlie Crist in support of the stimulus bill. That meeting featured the man-hug seen around the state. Bush protégé Marco Rubio made the image a prominent part of his successful run against Crist in the Republican Senate primary. Bush supported Rubio, but Crist maintained it was only proper for a governor to appear with a president.
  • Obama, of course, ran against the legacy of President George W. Bush, Jeb's brother, in his successful campaign for the White House.
  • Jeb Bush has long been talked about as a possible Republican challenger to Obama in 2012, but time and time again, Bush has denied he'll run.

Obama has set out to create a more bipartisan tone in politics, but that task has been difficult in such a divided atmosphere. An appearance with such a high-profile Republican could be beneficial. Meanwhile, Bush has made education reform a top task even after leaving office and will likely use the chance to bolster the parts of his agenda that Obama agrees with.

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I've taught and coached for 28 years at an inner-city high school about four miles north of Miami Central. Our schools are mirror images of one another.

The sense of shock at both schools is the same. Can it be that President Obama is going to give his stamp of approval to the scorched earth education policies of Jeb Bush? So many young people have been destroyed in the building Obama will appear in on Friday. So many young people at Central hold the President up as a hero and their hero is going to tell them that this man Bush is ok, no matter what their parents, their community leaders and their teachers have told them for years about his efforts to hurt them. For many of these young people this will be the greatest betrayal they will experience in their lives.

There's tremendous irony in it but the nation's first African-American president's education policy is the most profoundly racist and reactionary one ever suggested in the United States of America. It is a testament to how far the oligarchs (Bill Gates, Eli Broad, the Wal-Mart Family) have pushed us into the realm of absurdity in this area.

America's public schools, and Miami Central is still one of them, are admittedly failing the children of working people. But that is because the schools are woven into the fabric of a failing economy where teachers and children are accountable for rote test taking skills but bankers and oil companies destroy with impunity.

The economy of the United States is now fully devoted to the pursuit of corporate profits through war and no longer has the capacity to maintain a functioning public school system. Every state in the Union faces a deepening hole in their budgets. Unemployed people stop paying income taxes you see. Foreclosed upon people stop paying property taxes you see. Alchemists are all that's left on Wall Street and no real wealth is created in this country today so there's nothing to tax. Nothing of value is made in the United States anymore!

Nothing that is except weapons of war. War making is the only "healthy" sector of the US economy left, which is why were staying in Iraq, escalating in Afghanistan (no matter how many war crimes might be exposed by Wikileaks), and expanding the fight to Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. But an ability to deliver bombs from drone aircraft on people around the world will not rescue a broken economy.

The steadily accelerating destruction of public education in the United States is the result. Obama's men can rearrange the educational deck chairs on the Titanic anyway he pleases. The iceberg is still dead ahead. The Race to Oblivion is on!

Only resistance lies ahead for teachers. Resistance to Gov. Walker in Wisconsin, resistance to former Gov. Bush and his inbred successor Scott in Florida, and resistance to President Obama nationally. Wisconsin today, tomorrow 50 Wisconsins.


Rally Friday, March 4, 2011 from 4 - 6 PMWe're planning to let President Obama and our community know that teachers disagree with the Jeb Bush anti-public education agenda. The Bush agenda denies children a world class education and we will not be silent.

Who: United Teachers of Dade What: Obama/Bush Visit ProtestWhen: Friday, March 4th (4 – 6 pm)Where: Miami Central SHS – 1781 NW 95th St., Miami

The Bush AgendaCuts $3.3 billion from public education funding in FloridaSupports Senate Bill 736Eliminates programs such as art, music, foreign language and gifted education Creates larger class sizesForces high stakes, corporate driven testingFunnels tax money to charter schools and test vendors rather than public schoolsDevalues advanced credentials for teachersEliminates funding for maintenance of school buildingsPunishes teachers working in special education and low income communities


It would be irrelevant to speak about low performing schools at Miami High.


Well ... which school is it, Central or Miami High ... thats a pretty important part of this article

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