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      Jeb Bush talks education in Columbia

      Former Governor Jeb Bush in Columbia April 27th (with Governor Haley,Sen.Jim Demint and Education Superintendent Mick Zais and Sen.Jim Demint)

      Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush gave a keynote speech on overhauling the school system.

      Educators, legislators and businessmen from across the state gathered to discuss education reform at this year's "Empower" summit, organized by U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint. Education Superintendent Mick Zais and Governor Nikki Haley were also on hand to discuss ways to improve education in the palmetto state.

      Key issues in the speech included School Choice for parents, Higher Education standards for students and a Grading system for schools that would rate them A through F. Bush, a chairman of the Foundation for Excellence in Education, also talked about installing reward systems for teachers and customizing education to account for differences in student's learning styles.

      "I think there is a growing concensus that there is a better way of doing things that could yield a better result. The fact that business leaders, parents, educators and political leaders in south carolina concur with that is a really hopeful sign," Said Governor Bush, who went on to say that the first step in acheiving any of this is legal reform.

      Many of the discussed items are based in his state's 20 percent increase in graduation rates after similar measures were enacted.

      Superintendent zais said that so far this year his department was pushing a strong charter school bill and a teacher protection act that would allow more discipline in the classrooms.

      Education advocates say they're open to ideas and appreciate that Bush didn't lambast educators. But they say the difficulties are in the details.