The debate last night, obstensibly on foreign policy, instead featured the candidates' longest debate remarks on the state of America's schools and strategies for improving performance. Predictably, their comments represent a key difference between the major party platforms on the role of the federal government in education. (Substitute healthcare here if you like.) Here's the quotes, courtesy of Politics K12.
Gov. Romney on delegating education policy and standards to the states, including, presumably, programs like Race to the Top, ESEA, the Common Core, and his proposed 20% slash of the federal education budget:
"It's so critical that we make America once again the most attractive
place in the world to start businesses, to build jobs, to grow the
economy. And that's not going to happen by -- by just hiring teachers,"
Romney said. "Look, I -- I love to -- I love teachers, and I'm happy to
have states and communities that want to hire teachers, do that. I -- by
the way, I don't like to have the federal government start pushing its
way deeper and deeper into -- into our schools. Let the states and
localities do that. I was a governor. The federal government didn't hire
And here's Pres. Obama on the importance of national initiatives for maintaining American competitiveness and maintaining federal budgetary support:
If we've got math teachers who are able to provide the kind of support
that they need for our kids, that's what's going to determine whether or
not the new businesses are created here. Companies are going to locate
here depending on whether we've got the most highly skilled workforce.
And the kinds of budget proposals that you've put forward—when we don't
ask either you or me to pay a dime more in terms of reducing the
deficit, but instead we slash support for education, that's undermining
our long-term competitiveness. That is not good for America's position
in the world. And the world notices.