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U.S. Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney gestures while making a point about children's education at The Latino Coalition during the Annual Economic Summit at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington, May 23,
Mitt Romney talks education (Reuters)
Mitt Romney periodically brags about his record on education as governor of Massachusetts, but suffice it to say, whether he's claiming credit for successes that he doesn't deserve credit for or touting failed programs as successes, the stump speech version of the Romney record is a little different from how people in Massachusetts remember it:
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. [...]

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.

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.

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.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 08:51 AM PDT.

Also republished by ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement, Progressive Hippie, and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Reporters, please address Mitt as 'Governor' so (14+ / 0-)

    we can see him cringe on camera. ;)

    *Austerity is the opposite of Prosperity*

    by josmndsn on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 09:00:51 AM PDT

  •  What's good in Massachusetts (10+ / 0-)

    is largely the result of a previous Governor substantially increasing the budgets for education.

    One thing to note in education is that a curriculum change that is meant to, say, boost the performance of kids in algebra in 8th grade takes 9 years to be fully reflected in the data. That is, you are making changes in math curriculum in K-7, and not until those first kindergarteners get to 8th grade to you truly know if your change was successful or not.

    Of course, we rarely give any curricula 8 years to prove itself. Usually after year 5-7, it's revamped again, and most kids will experience two curricula changes K-12 even if they spend their entire school time in the same district.

    Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

    by elfling on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 09:12:12 AM PDT

    •  Yes, nothing like seizing mastery from kids (4+ / 0-)

      at just the point where most will achieve it.  Romney knows precious little about public schools, having never attended one himself.  I suspect he believes teachers are part of that "union thugism" he so often cites.  I can't wait for the debates.

      Romney went to France instead of serving in our military, got rich chop-shopping US businesses and eliminating US jobs, off-shored his money in the Cayman Islands, and now tells us to "Believe in America."

      by judyms9 on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 09:22:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Don't need any dumb teachers! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Observerinvancouver, Candide08

    Give a kid a slate, coal, and firelight ...and he can master what Mitt's learned in no time at all.  Don't need all those firemen and policemen, just ask teabaggers in Colorado Springs. Republicans lost in purgatory they created!

    ObamaCares RomneyScares

    by raster44 on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 09:54:55 AM PDT

    •  Firelight! Isn't that being a tad over-indulgent? (0+ / 0-)

      Iirc, plain old daylight was good enough for me!

      We must, indeed, all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately. B. Franklin

      by Observerinvancouver on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 10:25:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Firelight? Communist. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      When you light a bonfire, it just gives out heat and light for free, to anyone who happens to be nearby! You can't charge for admission or shut off someone's firelight if they don't pay you the bonfire subscription every five minutes.

      And most bonfires I've sat around have been in approved fire pits (regulation!) at state or national parks (more communism!) while camping (not paying rent like socialist scum).

      We shouldn't be teaching children such disgusting collectivist filth. Firelight. FEH. Let them use flashlights, bought from the wealthy at exorbitant prices and made by children overseas for pennies on the dollar.

      "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

      by JamesGG on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 11:03:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  No profit center in public education. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, Icicle68, Sue B, Candide08

    Repubs see no benefits from public education, since they can't make a profit off of it.

    I see public education as integral to national defense.

    An ignorant, lazy, obese, and politically apathetic population is rife for tyranny.

    During WWII, Winston Churchill, a conservative, thought likewise.  An unconfirmed story claims he was asked to cut funds to the arts to further fund the war effort.  The story goes on that he replied, 'Then, what are we fighting for?'

    The closest support is found in the official biography of Winston Churhill, by Mar­tin Gilbert, vol. 6, Finest Hour 1939-1941, page 449:

    At this same moment, the Direc­tor of the National Gallery, Ken­neth Clark, sug­gested that the paint­ings in the National Gallery should be sent from Lon­don to Canada. Churchill was like­wise against this sug­ges­tion, and emphat­i­cally so. “No,” he min­uted, “bury them in caves and cel­lars. None must go. We are going to beat them.”

    *Austerity is the opposite of Prosperity*

    by josmndsn on Mon Jul 02, 2012 at 11:33:50 AM PDT

  •  Romney lying? I'm shocked. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    •  The more I hear Mittens talk... (0+ / 0-)

      the more I am convinced that he is just a pathological liar.

      It also helps explain Bain.

      "The right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken seriously." -- Hubert H. Humphrey

      by Candide08 on Tue Jul 03, 2012 at 08:54:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  as I understand it (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    darlalalala, Sue B

    As I understand it, Romney faced a huge hole in the state budget but knew he couldn't raise any taxes without torpedoing his run for the president, so he instead raised a crapton of "fees" which were like taxes except not taxes because they're fees totally different really.

    Hurt his fee-fees, it did.

  •  I demand (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Mitt release his OWN college records. >;)

    "That the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves and the State ..."- Vermont Constitution Chapter 1, Article 16

    by kestrel9000 on Tue Jul 03, 2012 at 06:10:04 AM PDT

  •  Outsourcer-in-chief (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Mitt Romney is running on his record as a "businessman" and as the heart and soul of the Bain Capital group.He is not running on his time as governor of Massachusetts or the years he spent as a serial campaigner for various offices. With his private record front and center courtesy of Mitt himself, it is more than reasonable for voters and his opponent to closely examine and highlight the details of Romney as a private businessman. For instance, it is important to know that Mitt was a full time vulture capitalist, closing down small family businesses for his own profit and that of his rich pals. It is also important to know that Romney then shipped those jobs overseas, contributing to the decline of the American workforce and emboldening our economic enemies

  •  The word you are looking for is "LIAR" (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hulibow, JeffW, J M F, diggerspop

    Mitt Romney lies.  Mitt Romney is a LIAR.

    We need to feel free to use that word more often.

    It should be automatic when you hear the name Mitt Romney you should think his full name is Mitt Romney Liar.

    It's not shenanigans.  It's not "using tricks"  It's not "missing the mark"  It's not "Off Bubble" It's not "fabricating" It's not 'Monkey business"  Its Lying.  

    Mitt Romney often lies.  He likes to lie, and he does it often.

    People don't like liars, even if they are old tea bag republican pissed off grandmothers.  They don't like liars.

    Mitt Romney is a liar.    We need more than one reporter to call Mitt Romney a liar.  That single reporter is Rachel Maddow.  She has no problem with it.   I love it when she flat out calls Mitt Romney a LIAR.

    " With religion you can't get just a little pregnant"

    by EarTo44 on Tue Jul 03, 2012 at 06:16:14 AM PDT

  •  Well, this is pretty damn good, no? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Overall test scores grew incrementally during Romney’s tenure.
    Heck, do test scores * ever * go up under GOP leadership?  Even incrementally?

    Of course, that could have simply been due to the massive cheating that characterizes test taking in many , many other states . . .

  •  John and Abigail scholarships (0+ / 0-)

    A quick note on the John and Abigail Adams scholarships.  They cost the Commonwealth absolutely nothing, they are essentially an unfunded mandate on the institutions.  The universities just have to deal with a slight decrease in revenue for each Adams Scholar.  
    Of course tuition is only a small part of the cost to the students because the  BHE wanted to brag about low tuition costs in the 90's and early 2000's.  They refused to raise tuition so the institutions had to raise fees in order to meet increased costs.

  •  Why don't the reporters just (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ask him for his transcripts, to see if his record doesn't match his claims?

  •  Failure in and of itself is not a bad thing (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sue B

    as long as you learn from it.  I don't mind states having tried abstinence only teen pregnancy prevention, as long as when the results clearly showed that it was a failure, they abandoned it for something that actually worked.  Ditto whatever Romney's approach to teaching Latinos was.   If, having seen that it was an abysmal failure, they dumped it, then fine.  If they doubled down on the fail, and kept touting it elsewhere, that's where you get into trouble.

  •  This seems like a weird thing to go after (0+ / 0-)

    Is is possible that only 25% of recipients chose to attend a state college because the scholarship requires no application and is automatically awarded to anybody who qualifies that registered for federal aid?

    Are we really to the point where we are sneering at someone for giving people (the option to take) free money for school?

    If so I'm sure there is a parade of tuition assistance programs, scholarships, and grants that don't give you a full ride that we should probably start deriding, as well, lest anybody debase themselves by using one.

  •  That's a conservative privilege: rewriting history (0+ / 0-)
  •  That will be a recurring theme (0+ / 0-)

    Under Romney, in Massachusetts, while we were sort of setting a leading indicator economically (down), things were pretty much on an even keel.  Some things got a little better, some things got a little worse, it was sort of treading water.

    Either way, this had almost nothing if anything to do with Mitt Romney.  He wasn't here much, you see...spent most of his time campaigning around the country about how much he hated Massachusetts and wanted to be POTUS.

  •  So, his claim to fame (0+ / 0-) that, try as he did, he couldn't screw it up. So he even failed at failure.

  •  Dump Duncan (0+ / 0-)

    We already have the worst education president ever.

    More standardized testing.
    More merit pay.
    More mayoral control.
    More value added teacher ratings.
    More privately run charters using public money.
    More Common Core control of the curriculum (by Pearson Publishing).

    All these are failures.  This is Obama's only game plan.


    "It turns out, by the way, that oil rigs today generally don't cause spills. They are technologically very advanced." 4-2-10 Obama's George Bush moment

    by neaguy on Tue Jul 03, 2012 at 01:24:07 PM PDT

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