On the campaign trail, Romney proudly emphasizes Massachusetts’ national reputation for its stellar public K-12 education system. Bay State students routinely score at the top on national and international tests. But that achievement is largely credited to the state’s 1993 landmark education reform law that poured billions of dollars into schools, set academic standards, and spawned the standardized testing that Romney fiercely guarded. [...]When Romney gave his big education speech to the Latino Coalition, he mysteriously didn't mention his focus, as governor, on English as a second language, let alone how it turned out. That's probably because it's a failure that can be pinned directly on him since he campaigned to revamp how non-English speakers were taught, with the aforementioned lack of success.
Overall test scores grew incrementally during Romney’s tenure. The achievement of non-native English speakers — a demographic whose progress Romney targeted during his gubernatorial campaign against bilingual education — barely budged.
But while he doesn't like to talk about that to a Latino audience, at the top of the list of things Romney does like to talk about in his education record—the only time he mentioned Massachusetts in that Latino Coalition speech—is the John and Abigail Adams Scholarships program, which covers tuition for top students. Romney glowingly described surprising students with the news, their cheers, all the hugs he got, the thanks from relieved parents who now knew they could send their kids to college. But:
[H]is much hyped John and Abigail Adams Scholarships cover only tuition at state colleges, not fees, which account for more than 80 percent of yearly costs at some schools. Just a quarter of the recipients actually choose to attend state colleges.Just to reiterate, when he looks at his education record, that's the program Mitt Romney sees as the big thing to brag about.