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"A Conversation with Laura Bush" in Education Next

February 19, 2013 by Jacqueline Lowe

Mrs. Laura Bush sat down with Education Next's Peter Meyer to discuss her continuing commitment to education and how the Bush Institute is pursuing an ambitious education-policy agenda:

"While keeping a low profile and staying out of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) debate, the Bushes have built an education think tank that is pursuing an ambitious education-policy agenda, focusing on school leadership, middle school improvement, and standards and accountability. One of the institute’s first education initiatives was the Alliance to Reform Education Leadership (AREL), a nationwide network of principal preparation programs with a mandate, as a 2010 press release put it, “to transform the way school districts identify, recruit, prepare, empower, and evaluate their leaders.”

“Our very first fellow at the institute was an education fellow,” says Mrs. Bush. “Dr. Jim Guthrie brought us the idea of principal recruiting and training and working with principal training groups around the country…. We wanted education to be the first of the four policy areas that we worked on because we think it’s so important. There is an urgency about what we’re doing—there should always be an urgency.”

Laura Bush is hands-on, and she intends to stay that way. She convenes monthly meetings of the institute staff for regular updates and reads all the papers the institute produces. She cares about education. And it is clear that the Bush Institute will be a major player in the education reform movement in the future."

Read the full article here.