by Dr. Terry Stoops
Former Director of the Center for Effective Education, John Locke Foundation
Today, Education Week published a ridiculous “fact check” of Mitt Romney’s education speech. It is historic – historically bad.
The writer starts her “fact check” with a bang,
“In his speeches, President Obama likes to tell us, ‘We can’t wait,’ Romney told the crowd at the Latino Coalition’s Small Business Summit Luncheon in Washington. “If only he would say that and mean it about education reform—because millions are waiting for change, and so many are missing their chance.”
But some might say that education is the poster child for the Obama “We Can’t Wait” initiative. The U.S. Department of Education has offered states a chance to sidestep the No Child Left Behind Act by crafting their own plans that include promises to tie teacher evaluations to student performance, adopt college- and career-readiness standards, and devise new accountability systems that factor in student growth
Really? What facts are we checking? What part of “some might say” suggests that there is fact checking going on?
In the following statement, Romney does not even mention President Obama. The author defends the President anyway.
Romney also said that “states will be rewarded if they regularly evaluate teachers for their effectiveness and compensate the best teachers for their success,” but there’s no doubt the current administration has made strides in this direction.
Like the above paragraph, the two that follow it do not start with a statement or assertion from Romney.
Other “We Can’t Wait”-themed education initiatives include capping student loan repayments to 10 percent to 15 percent of a borrower’s discretionary income.
In addition, charter schools got a boost in the administration’s signature Race to the Top grant contest, which long-preceded the “We Can’t Wait” theme, because states had to improve the climate for charters to compete.
Did Romney say anything about student loan repayments or charter schools in his speech? If so, why didn’t author include those statements in her piece? Perhaps a better question is why the author did not include, you know, fact checking in her piece.