In 1990, a group of veterans of years of school volunteering, as well as classroom teaching, realized that the corruption and lack of student achievement, which were the main results of public education, could not be fixed from the inside. The system was brutal to anyone suggesting reform and accountability, as those who really cared already knew; i.e., teachers and students who had high expectations.
I.V.B.E. began in Dade County, educating anyone who would listen about how much was really being spent by the education systems and the consistent drop in all standardized test scores, in spite of billions having been poured into the systems over the years. In 1994, a Florida state representative gave the packet of information we had sent to a constituent, who called to ask if we thought it was worthwhile to hold a meeting in Orlando to expand statewide.
It was a real success story, with a room full of people coming together to make fundamental change. The woman who is now (as of December, 1997) chief of staff for Florida's Education Commissioner, who was then running in the primary, was there, as were others who understood how badly reform was needed if public education was to survive.
We have seen a complete turn-around in the attitude of elected officials since then, with the election of a majority of men and women who have been making a major restructuring of the role of the system a priority. We network with many groups both statewide and on a national level to compare problems (most public education systems are run by the same entrenched bureaucracy using our tax dollars to stay in power) and find solutions (electing people who understand what needs to be done by educating the public).
We invite new members; all donations are FULLY tax-deductible to the extent allowed by the IRS. I.V.B.E. is a 501 (c)(3). We do not endorse candidates for political office or commercial products of any kind, are non-partisan and non-sectarian. We do research into the budgets and spending habits of public education and share our knowledge about what really works to teach students to read, write, compute, and think critically with anyone who asks.