The Election’s Impact on Education

With the 2012 presidential race nearing an end, many voters still remain undecided. While there are plenty of topics on which people can base a decision (foreign policy, economics, social issues, etc.), education views remain an important factor for a large group of Americans. The federal government has a huge impact on the nation’s schools, whether through funding or new standards, and sometimes understanding exactly where each candidate stands can be very hard.

Thankfully, the folks at Education Week have created a comprehensive breakdown of each candidate’s views on all things education-related. Short video summaries for President Obama and Governor Romney give unbiased perspective on their records and proposals for future action.

In short, both candidates agree on the need for merit pay for teachers and the need to turn around poorly performing schools. However, where they differ is in their methodology.

President Obama has taken a federally proactive approach towards school reform, allocating large amounts of money through competitive grant programs included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (or Stimulus Bill, as it is better known).

Governor Romney, however, has taken a largely hands-off approach, preferring to scale back the size of the Department of Education and allow federal dollars to follow kids to whichever school they choose, including private schools.

Elections are always a time fraught with tough choices and confusing rhetoric. Thanks to Education Week, it’s now easy to see the clear differences between these two men on education policy, which may help ease your decision-making. Let us know your thoughts on education and the election in the comments section below.