The Florida legislature was controlled by Democrats from the end of the Civil War (1867) until 1995. Since 1995, the GOP has kept and built majorities in both the house and the senate in the Florida legislature. From the mid to late 80’s and into the early 1990’s, we had a serious, if not crisis stage violent crime problem.
One of the main reasons for this problem was the drug trade. But the other main reason was policies that the Democrats had regarding how long a violent criminal stayed in prison. Our correctional system allowed for 1 day good time(didn’t even need good behavior) for every day in, and also a complicated system of “gain” time. A murderer who was sentenced to say 20 years could have been released in about 5 years. Many of these offenders got out and proceeded to re-offend and usually killed somebody else.
The GOP,as a party, was 40/60 in the minority promised the electorate that they would change the laws and make sure that violent offenders served at least 85% of their sentences. The voters put Republicans in charge of the legislature in 1995 and the governor’s office after 1998. Legislators kept their promise and since then violent crime rates have plummeted dramatically. Liberals didn’t agree with the policies, but the results were undeniable.
Now comes a story about the success of educational reforms put in place by JEB, governor of FL from 1999-2007.
“Governor Bush has been at the forefront of education reform,” said Michael W. Grebe, president of the Bradley Foundation, which has donated generously to education reform projects, while honoring Jeb Bush earlier this year. “During his administration and since, Florida students have made incredible gains.”
Educational successes there were tangible, and measurable, and they have been copied by several other states.
— In 1998, Florida’s fourth-graders scored at the bottom nationally in NAEP scores in reading and math. By 2009, they had scored above the national average in both categories.
— Florida’s fourth-grade Hispanic students equaled or surpassed the performance of all students in 31 states.
— Fourth-grade African American students in Florida outperform African American students in all but three states in NAEP math tests.
— Low-income Florida elementary school students of all races rank near the top nationally in math.
(Not to mention 5 years of National Champions in College Football from FL schools and 2 years of National Champions in College Basketball during Jeb’s governorship)
If you want results that can be measured, stick with Republicans, if you want mindless platitudes, go with the other side.