Back to July 2012 Ed Reporter
What’s Missing from the Romney Plan?
- Department of Education: The plan does not call for closing the U.S. Department of Education, a longtime conservative goal that Romney himself endorsed in 1994. Abolishing the U.S. Department of Education was a plank in the National Republican Platform during the Reagan years.
- Federal Funding: The plan does not call for cutting or even slowing the growth of federal spending on education, which doubled under George W. Bush and doubled again under Barack Obama, although the plan admits that “increased spending on our K-12 public schools has failed to produce results.”
- Waivers: The plan does not mention the illegal waivers that the Obama administration has granted to 26 states, excusing them from their contractual obligation to insure that all children are at grade level by 2014.
- Local Control: The plan does not indicate how local control of public education can be squared with Romney’s support for the Common Core State Standards.
- Reading: There is nothing in the Romney plan about the most basic purpose of elementary education: teaching children to read. Children should be reading by the end of the first grade, not promoted to higher grades when they can’t read at grade level.
- American History: There is nothing in the plan to support the truthful teaching of what is good about American history and culture, so kids can be proud of our country.
- English Language: Although Romney unveiled his education plan to a group called the Latino Coalition, he failed to mention that so-called bilingual education harms Latinos and other immigrant children by not requiring them to speak English. Has Romney forgotten that his only electoral victory, as governor of Massachusetts, was attributed to his support for an anti-bilingual, pro-English initiative on the same ballot? The pro-English initiative received an overwhelming 68% of the vote in 2002, while Romney scraped to victory with just 49.8 percent.
- College loans: There is nothing in the Romney plan for dealing with the financial bubble of rising college tuition financed by $1 trillion of federal student loan debt. Although more than half of recent college graduates could not get jobs in the fields they studied, the plan nevertheless endorses the absurd statistic that 62% of all U.S. jobs require postsecondary education, rising to an even more ridiculous 75% by 2020.