Education: Obama And Romney Mostly Agree

Oct 5, 2012

If there are any undecided voters left in Florida, just weeks before the election, chances are they're educators.

Many say President Obama and Mitt Romney have strong education platforms that differ so subtly it may take a teacher's practiced eye to tell them apart.

"They're both strong on testing and accountability," says Doug Tuthill, who runs a nonprofit in Tampa for low-income K-through-12 students. "They both believe that student achievement should be included in teacher evaluation systems.

Tuthill's agency, Step Up for Students, connects disadvantaged kids with state scholarships to attend charter or private schools or pay for the cost of transportation to out-of-district public schools that may serve their needs better.

It's an exercise in school choice and Tuthill says if there's a difference in education platforms between Romney and Obama, there it is: Obama's good but Romney's better on charters and choice.

What he really likes is Romney's plan to allow Title One money under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act to travel with individual students rather than spending it district by district. Although he thinks President Obama is the strongest champion of charter schools ever to occupy the Oval Office,  Romney now has the campaign edge.

Not that it's a huge edge.

"By and large, there's an enormous amount of change in education going on right now," Tuthill said, "and both these guys have platforms that position them as change agents in education."