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Balfanz headlines “Access to America” forum in North Carolina

Robert Balfanz

Robert Balfanz

SOE researcher Robert Balfanz was one of the headline members of a panel discussion in North Carolina on Monday that discussed the future and vitality of the city of Charlotte, joined by former N.C. Gov. Jim Hunt, Charlotte board of Ed Chair Ericka Ellis-Stewart and Superintendent Heath Morrison.

The discussion, which took place at central Piedmont Community College, was hosted by the Democratic National Convention host committee and was the third in a series of public talks highlighting pathways to success.

Balfanz highlighted the need for the health of public schools and that they would shape the vitality of the city, indicating that it would take a united effort from many groups – government, school, families – to get more students “on the pathway to Adult Success”.

Read more about the talk at the Charlotte Observer.


Romney:Ryan – reducing the federal role in education

Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan

Reuters photo via the Minnesota Post

From the Hechinger Report Ed Blog:

Mitt Romney’s pick of Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) as his vice presidential candidate over the weekend offers new clues about what a Romney administration could mean for federal education policy. Although Ryan hasn’t made education a signature issue during his seven terms in Congress, he believes the federal government should cut back its involvement in education.

“Stagnant student achievement levels and exploding deficits have demonstrated that massive amounts of federal funding and top-town interventions are not the way to provide America’s students with a high-quality education,” says Ryan’s website. “It is imperative, then, that we allocate our limited financial resources effectively and efficiently



Romney and Obama – not much difference on education issues

President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union address Tuesday on Capitol Hill. Listening in back are Vice President Joe Biden and House Speaker John Boehner. (AP Photo/Saul Loeb, Pool)

(AP Photo/Saul Loeb, Pool)

From the Washington Post:

By Jay Mathews

Poor Mitt Romney. He appoints a splendid group of education policy advisers, smart people with great ideas. Then he learns that he has to give a speech explaining how he differs from President Obama on schools when those same advisers have spent their careers making that nearly impossible.

The two major parties mostly agree on education policy. This has been true for a generation. This is good for schools, but during presidential campaigns it makes speechwriters miserable. Here is an example from Romney’s education speech last week to the Latino Coalition’s Annual Economic Summit:

“Dramatically expanding parental choice, making schools responsible for results by giving parents access to clear and instructive information, and attracting and rewarding our best teachers — these changes can help ensure that every parent has a choice and every child has a chance.” Continue Reading →