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Obama and Romney Education Advisers Debate at Teachers College
Advisers point to extreme differences in candidates Education plans
By Christopher “Flood the Drummer®” Norris
10.16.12: National - (Politics/Education): On the eve of the second Presidential Debate between incumbent President Barack Obama and Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney, Teachers College, Columbia University -the oldest and largest graduate school of education in the United States, hosted a debate between Phil Handy, higher education co-chair of Romney’s Education Policy Advisory Group and Jon Schnur, co-founder of America Achieves and co-chairman of the Obama for America Education Policy Committee. The 90 minute debate that was live streamed on www.edweek.org, discussed each candidates view on the role of the Federal Government in Education, Common Core Standards, Pell Grants, How to retain and empower good teachers and more.
“The two candidates have major differences in what should happen with Education,” explains Schnur, Founder of New Leaders for New Schools. “President Obama believes Education is an investment that’s key to driving economic empowerment, while Romney believes Education is an expense that needs to be capped.” Schur pointed out several times that Romney looks to cut discretionary spending by 50% - which in his opinion means Education will be on the chopping block. Handy, former chairman of the Florida State Board of Education defended himself by reiterating a pledge Romney made in the first presidential debate—that he wouldn't cut education funding. Handy said the crux of the funding crisis is over entitlement programs such as Social Security: "You can easily hold public education harmless without impacting the creation of more deficits,” Handy continued, “But Romney won't invest more in education either- You just can't keep adding to the deficit.”Schnur responded, “Education is a very small part of the deficit.
According to the Politics K-12 blog, another area that Handy shed light on was Romney's plan to send Title I and special education dollars directly to parents as vouchers so they can use them at the school of their choice. Handy acknowledged that, since the federal government only pays an average of about 10 percent of a child's K-12 education, Romney's voucher plan would have to start small. States would be encouraged to match those dollars; and seven to eight would probably do so right away, he said.
"The federal government's role should be to get this choice started," Handy said.
Schnur retorted: "It's an interesting idea that doesn't seem workable."
Schnur used the debate to continue to offer voters what he portrayed as a stark choice between the two candidates: that President Obama sees education as an investment, while his opponent sees it as an expense that can be cut.
Handy's points on school choice illustrated his overarching themes of the night: that the federal role in education should be limited to providing choice and transparent data on the quality of schools - It became clear, the role is also to not add to the deficit under a Romney presidency.
However, there is one exception to that no-extra-money mantra from Handy. He said Romney would support more investment in education research.
As it relates to teachers, teacher development and retention, Scnhur stated, “The President would continue to stress a three-part plan to "professionalize" teaching careers by pushing career ladders, improving teacher-prep programs, and creating incentives. Schnur reiterated the president's support of using achievement and test scores as one of many factors in evaluating teachers.
Handy agreed that teachers should be evaluated on student achievement as well, but disagreed that the federal government should require such evaluations.
Thanks for reading. Until next time, I’m Flood the Drummer® & I’m Drumming for JUSTICE!
Source: TBO Inc®, Politics K-12: Read the original article @ http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/campaign-k-12/2012/10/_in_a_substant...
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