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A look at the candidates and their views on education.

presidential candidates Barack Obama (incumbent, left) and Mitt Romney

From USA Today:

Glance at the two presidential candidates’ education plans and you may not immediately see much of a difference. Both want greater scrutiny of teacher effectiveness. Both champion privately run, but publicly funded K-12 charter schools as well as higher academic standards. Both want more high school and college graduates and a more competitive workforce.

But scratch beneath the surface and a few key differences emerge. President Obama has given states freedom from the sanctions of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) education law, while his challenger, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney says he supports the Bush-era law and wants to reinvigorate it.

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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.

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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

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