Mitt Romney and his Education Legacy in MA
During the final presidential debate, Romney boasted that MA is a leader in education and number one in the country.
MR. ROMNEY: — just about education, because I’m — I’m so proud of the state that I had the chance to be governor of. We have, every two years, tests that look at how well our kids are doing. Fourth graders and eighth graders are tested in English and math. While I was governor, I was proud that our fourth graders came out number one of all 50 states in English and then also in math, and our eighth graders number one in English and also in math — first time one state had been number one in all four measures."
It is true that MA is the birthplace of public education, something Romney would gladly claim if he could. Our schools also receive one of the highest rates of funding from the federal government and spends more per student than other states. As such, our schools were number one before Mitt and after. One of the main reasons for MA’s success was its investment in early chilhood education, which Romney cut as soon as he became Governor.
In addition, something that Mitt did not claim but happened on his watch was the Unz initiative, which made bilingual education illegal and widened the opportunity Gap.
MR. ROMNEY: The first — the first — and we kept our schools number one in the nation. They’re still number one today. And the principles that we’ve put in place — we also gave kids not just a graduation exam that — that determined whether they were up to the skills needed to — to be able to compete,
But whether it is Obama or Romney, one thing to remember is that nationally Only 52% of black males and 58% of Latino males graduate compared to 78% of their white counterparts. Is that really something to be proud of? The MCAS, the standardized testing Mitt is making reference to has targeted the most vulnerable students in our state and ultimately decreased equity. For example, The Boston Public Schools are amongst the most racially segregated with 87% students of color. The State average is skewed and ignores this “opportunity segregation” and racialzed isolation. MA boasts one of the wealthiest and most educated parents in the country- yet those who need it the most lack access to resources and tutoring.
Governor Romney and President Obama, we are not numbers and our education can not be boiled down to averages and statistics that conceal the failure of our schools to provide a good education for ALL.