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Politics / Issues

Fact-Checking Jeb Bush

mostlyfalse.jpg
politifact.com

The 2014 midterm elections are over.

So it's on the the 2016 presidential race, right?   

Too soon?

Well, it wasn't too soon for a lot of would-be presidential hopefuls to use the midterm races to get a little bit of exposure - among them former Florida Governor Jeb Bush.

And Bush was talking about some of his signature issues like education, along with voter touchstones like the economy.  

In a fundraising letter from his Foundation for  Excellence in Education, Bush said that,"one third of our kids drop out, cannot go to college or start a career."

"We rated this one mostly false," said PolitiFact editor Angie Holan. "We looked very closely at the dropout rate. His letter said that one-third of the kids drop out and that means they cannot go to college. But the dropout rate is not that high - not overall. The traditional statistics show just under ten percent of students drop out of high school. So on that ground, we rated it mostly false."

When Jeb Bush's Foundation was contacted for a clarification, they had an explanation for that one-third dropout statistic.

"When we asked them to explain their reasoning they pointed to reports about high numbers on minorities - black and Hispanic - that are not graduating from high school," Holan explained. "But because he didn't have that caveat in his statement, we rated the statement mostly false."

In another letter from the Foundation for Excellence in Education, Jeb Bush focused on the economy saying, "among developed nations, we are the least economically and socially mobile country in the world."

"We rated that true," said Holan. "I was surprised when we dug up the statistics that the United States is behind most of the other countries. Now, the catch here is that Bush was careful in his statement. He said 'among the developed nations,' so you're not counting China, you're not counting some of the other countries around the world, you're only looking at advanced economies. And by that standard, Bush is accurate and we found a lot of evidence to support it."

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