Romney And Education

Real Relationship Advice (and a general disgust with the Republican party right now)

Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world. ~Nelson Mandela

The importance of education is obvious. An intelligent populace will undoubtedly raise the possibilities of solving the problems of a society. Intelligence is essential to succeed in school and education makes sure that we do not repeat mistakes, attempt the illogical because of statistical impossibilities and deepen the breadth and soul of a nation to include an appreciation for beauty. When politicians talk about education, we assume they know what they are talking about. However, politicians do not speak as educators or education professionals who dedicate their lives to advocate for learning.

Mitt Romney has been saying for several months that education is important to him. However, when confronted with specifics he touts the idea that class-size does not matter. He quotes a study by McKinsey as the seminal document proving that you can stuff a million kids in a shoebox and they will learn just fine. Well, once again Romney plays fast and loose with the truth. The study empathizes three things: 1. Nothing is more important than quality teachers. 2. The quality of the education cannot exceed the quality of the instruction 3. High performance requires all children to succeed. They suggest getting:  1. The best people to become teachers, 2. Developing them into effective teachers, 3. Ensuring that the system is set up to deliver the best instruction to every child (McKinsey & Co, Sept.2007). Their conclusions are that class size is not as important as instruction. That is very different, right? What they are saying is that we must develop our teachers to be excellent and make sure the system is set up for them to do their magic. This means making sure the kids are safe, fed and ready to learn.

This skewing of the truth on education is endemic to Romney and the Republicans. This idea that public education is somehow less than or broken is the dog whistle of these people. They believe that private business can do better. In other words, business men can run schools more efficiently than an educator. This is true if our goal was a healthy bottom line. The reality is that we want an educated society. We want a literate electorate!

Lest we forget, many Republicans believe that wanting education for all is snobbery. Rick Santorum said it best when he said, “President Obama wants everybody in America to go to college. What a snob … Oh, I understand why he wants you to go to college. He wants to remake you in his image.” Romney is not far from this belief system. He believes that a good education should be paid for. He has said in no uncertain terms that you should get the education you can afford or borrow from your parents. This is the recipe for creating a society of the ‘haves and have nots’. This is the definition of snobbery!

We understand why the Republicans are playing hit or miss with education. An educated person would not pick and choose issues and pieces of the Constitution or Pledge of Allegiance and justify their cause. An educated person would realize that believing that you want a small government and yet want to dictate whether people can marry or a woman can have a baby or stop it whether through abortion or birth control goes way beyond a big government and has gone straight to BIG BROTHER! An educated person would understand that if they quote “One nation, under God” as the call for this country to be Christian, that someone will point out that the next word, “indivisible” makes sure that that God can be any God. An educated person would realize that getting rid of Big Bird is really a direct hit to those who can’t afford pre-school.  An educated person would see that this country was founded on the principles that we are ALL created equal- regardless of faith- and have inalienable rights to be happy and free. That is what makes this country potentially amazing.

So it is obvious why a quality free education is no longer important to Republicans. If people get too educated, they will see that a lot of their beliefs make no sense.

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