Jeb Bush finishes Mich. trip with Dearborn school visit
Dearborn — Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush wrapped up his two-day visit to Michigan Friday with a tour of Greenfield Village and a meet-and-greet with students at the charter school inside the village.
A longtime proponent of charter schools and a likely Republican presidential candidate, Bush met informally with 10 juniors from Henry Ford Academy, inside Greenfield Village, after touring the museum.
The academy is the nation's first charter school developed jointly by a global corporation, public education and a world-renowned cultural institution.
From the museum, Bush boarded a 1931 Model A all-wood "Depot Hack" to get to the Thomas Edison Menlo Park Laboratory in the village along the main street. He watched a live demonstration of Edison's first phonograph, and then went upstairs to chat with the students.
Bush learned that some of the students are earning college credits at Henry Ford College, now a four-year institution, through dual enrollment. He added a joke: "Is anything around here not named Henry Ford? It's a global domination, at least in this ZIP code."
The students stood in a semicircle and the 6-foot 4-inch former governor asked if they had any questions for him. Dead silence.
Bush then asked about their high school experiences, and they were more forthcoming.
Eleventh-grader Alanna Davis, 17, shared her experience as an exchange student in Munich.
"I learned about midwifery in Germany and how it differs from here in the United States, and I was able to do some work in a hospital," she told Bush.
Bush responded that he'll soon be visiting Berlin to speak at a conference.
"I've been to Germany a few times, and it's very orderly," he said. "I think our strength is our chaos and that contributes to our creativity. If you can combine the two, that's pretty good."
Alanna later said her family was excited for her to meet the former governor.
"It was really exciting to meet someone so powerful, and I would not had the experience of going to Germany or meeting a potential presidential candidate if I did not go to this school," she said.
Mikayla Durant, 16, told Bush she wanted to be a pediatric nurse.
"He is really cool, and this will be something I will always remember," she said.
After Bush chatted with the students, they surrounded him for photos before he boarded another vintage automobile and was driven back to the museum before departing.
Bush, the brother of former President George W. Bush and the son of former President George H.W. Bush, is touting his experience and conservative credentials as he raises money and makes other preparations to enter a crowded field of GOP candidates.
His support of Common Core could prove controversial in Michigan, where conservatives have blasted the academic standards as a big-government takeover of education.
Bush visited the Lansing area Thursday and promised then to make more trips to Michigan "if I decide to go forward as a candidate."