He closed his discussion on the matter relating the fact that he took the test himself and passed it—stating that if teaching to the test means teaching students “how to read and write…and basic math skills there’s nothing wrong with [teaching to the test]”. I’m certainly glad that the Presidential Nominee of the Republican Party who has two Masters Degrees from Harvard can pass an elementary school examination as Governor. Mitt Romney: Smarter than a 5th Grader.
He went on to criticize teachers unions, blasting them as caring only for teachers. This argument seems to be a little disingenuous as it is a teacher’s job to provide for students. Perhaps the Law of Syllogism wasn’t on that standardized test that he took so I’ll spell it out. Teachers who feel secure in their jobs are able to deliver a more quality education to their students. Teachers Unions fight for the security of Teacher’s jobs. Teachers Unions fight for a quality education for students. Arguably though, this is 10th grade math not 5th.
Furthermore, even though charter schools are not statistically performing any better nationally, he says that if there’s a public school failing he prefers a charter school there instead. Governor Romney stated that in a school in Philadelphia (now an entirely charter city), he saw children singing in a glee club and using computers and loved it. So this is education? Standardized testing, sitting in front of a computer, and glee club? When asked how he does it the head of school says “He runs the school like a business”, which is exactly the sentiment which has seen more public schools closing since the passing of No Child Left Behind than probably any other time in American history. Mind you, the statistics say that charter schools don’t perform any better on the whole than public schools…but Mitt Romney knows something about polls and if children are singing and in front of a computer they must be learning.
So, without getting into any nitty gritty specifics of his education plan Mr. Romney has stated he wants teachers fearful for their jobs in education, teaching out of a box of pre-prepared materials that leave no room for differentiation of different learning or assessment styles, in a system that will lead to the privatization of all school through business hostile takeover, where parents don’t have a say and teachers don’t have representation, with plenty of computers, and time to sing “You’re a Grand Old Flag”. Watch out China! We’ve got an education system that’s gonna drop you to your rear!