Romney's education plans target of new Obama ad
August 22nd, 2012
07:57 AM ET
10 years ago

Romney's education plans target of new Obama ad

(CNN) – Mitt Romney's stance on class sizes in public schools came under fire Wednesday from President Barack Obama's campaign, which released a television spot featuring parents who say their children benefit from lower student-to-teacher ratios.

The ad, called "Children," will air in Ohio and Virginia on Thursday, the campaign said. Those states are key battlegrounds where Paul Ryan, the Wisconsin congressman running as Romney's vice presidential pick, has campaigned this week.

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"Some of our children's greatest experiences have been in the smaller classrooms," an unidentified man says in the spot.

A narrator chimes in: "But Mitt Romney says class sizes don't matter and he supports Paul Ryan's budget which could cut education by 20%."

In May, Romney defended his position on class sizes in public schools at a roundtable with teachers in Philadelphia. Romney's plan emphasizes school choice over other factors, including efforts to reduce the number of students in classrooms.

Romney cited studies he said showed no correlation between classroom size and performance, naming schools in Cambridge, Massachusetts, as an example.

"The schools in the district with the smallest classroom sizes had students performing in the bottom 10%," Romney said. "Just getting smaller classrooms didn't seem to be the key."

In the Obama campaign ad released Wednesday, parents say Romney's position puts him at odds with what's best for kids.

"You can't do this by shoving 30, 35 people into a class and just teaching to some test," a man says.

"These are all issues that really he personally cannot relate to. To be able to afford an education, to want the very best public education system for your children," a woman adds.

A photo flashes of Romney arriving in Las Vegas with Donald Trump's airplane in the background – an image the Obama campaign has used previously when attempting to paint Romney as out of touch.

“President Obama’s latest ad puts him directly at odds with his own education secretary, who has promoted teacher quality – not class size – as the most important factor in a good education," Romney campaign spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg wrote in a statement. "President Obama and his campaign have put misleading and hypocritical attacks ahead of a real discussion about education policy. As president, Mitt Romney will pursue genuine education reform that puts parents and students ahead of special interests and gives every child a chance to succeed.”

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Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • President Obama
soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. wgf

    "Just getting smaller classrooms didn't seem to be the key."

    I guess it hasn't occurred to Romney that multiple factors affect a child's learning experience, and that classroom size is only one of them. You would think that a man with so much business success would understand complex models with multiple variables, but I guess not. It doesn't bode well for his ability to handle things like the economy, defense, foreign relations, etc, etc.

    August 22, 2012 08:15 am at 8:15 am |
  2. Logical

    Well if you think logically... if there is a small class size a teacher should be able to identify problems with their classroom more accurately and instead of making elementary, middle or high schools into university like programs... where teachers would not have the time to work with each students problem...

    August 22, 2012 08:25 am at 8:25 am |

    I'm sure that NONE of Willard's kids or his grandkids ever attended public school.

    August 22, 2012 08:38 am at 8:38 am |

    Well,i bet that not one of romney the tax cheats sons went to public schoolsbut I guess its ok for you people to have substandard education. You have to be and idiot to vote for the romney the tax cheat. ,akins Ryan BACHMANN Gop goofs ticket . No thanks !!!!!

    August 22, 2012 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  5. American People

    The GOP plan for education: Tax breaks for the rich so they create jobs in India and I mean so they can create education!!!!!!!!!!!

    August 22, 2012 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  6. Ah...I See.

    You can find a study that'll say what you want it to say. Stats are highly maleable and anyone who's taken a stats class knows that. On the other side, anyone who's been in a class with 30+ students knows they hardly get the one on one help they might want and they rarely retain any of the info by teaching to tests as the gentleman noted. A Day/B Days are the best because you NEED the hour and a half to recap, to teach anew, and handle any questions. Our Magna Cum Laude would ALWAYS ask questions, lots of them were already reiterated but she needed that explanation. She wasn't that bright but she worked incredibly hard and some folks need that extra time. Jamming 10 classes in one day doesn't teach anything and piling on the students helps no one. Any respectable parent who's had even a modicum of involvement in their children's education would know this. Unfortunately, there are plenty of crappy parents and teachers that the issue gets convoluted. Smaller classes, better teachers, more time in a particular subject, and the willingness to hold children back and to higher standards are essential to the education process and we've been dumbing our children down for decades and robbing them of creativity by these constant cuts which most schools just take from the arts wing. Leave it to the Reps to undervalue education. More money for them and less intellect for us means more Baby Reps to come!

    August 22, 2012 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  7. rob

    Since the formation of the Dept of Ed in the federal govt in 1979, we have been spending BILLIONS and BILLIONS. Every campaign the Democrats roll out the same old tired charges against Republicans that they want to gut education spending and hurt the poor children. The truth is our education system is by far worse off despite all the spending. Too many young people are coming out of Highschool and College without the basic skills needed to meet ther chalenges of the changing world. More federal controll and the collusion of the Democrats with the teachers Unions (NO NOT THE TEACHERS) has been a complete FAILURE.

    The Democrats now represent the failed STATUS QUO but the liberal media will not call them out on it. Allowing them to continue to throw federal money at a system that is broken is just repeating the same old mistakes and doing our next generation a huge disservice. Its time to try it another way.

    Romney/Ryan 2012

    August 22, 2012 09:44 am at 9:44 am |