Romney's special advisor on education is Rod Paige, Secretary of Education under George W. Bush from 2001 to 2005. One of his two K-12 education co-chairs, both of his higher education co-chairs, and both of his workforce training co-chairs were lower-level Bush appointees, as were a number of Romney's committee members. But while Romney's education advisers may be Bush-administration retreads, that doesn't mean they're all stuck in exactly the same terrible educational ideas of the early 2000s. No, some of them have advanced to be leaders in the terrible educational ideas of the present.
Take Idaho Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna, who is a major champion of the "digital learning options" Romney touted on Wednesday. At his urging, the Idaho legislature passed a law requiring students to take online classes to graduate from high school, and emphasizing computers in classrooms to a degree that the New York Times' Matt Richtel describes as "envision[ing] a fundamental change in the role of teachers, making them less a lecturer at the front of the room and more of a guide helping students through lessons delivered on computers."
According to a Republican state senator, "It’s almost as if it was written by the top technology providers in the nation." And indeed, the online education industry, led by K12 Inc, put a lot of money into Luna's election.
Where Mitt Romney's education advisers and policies look forward from the Bush years, this is how: in the most cynical, profit-driven, educationally unsound way possible. But it's one that should win him the backing of the many companies skimming huge profit out of public education funding.