Does Romney See Teachers As Part Of The 47%?

Mitt Romney wants to destroy public education in the US and get rid of the Department of Education.

You can read all about it in his education white paper entitled “A Chance for Every Child: Mitt Romney’s Plan for Restoring the Promise of American Education” with a forward by Jeb Bush.

Romney appears to have little regard for teachers: in the vision that he presents, teachers’ rights would be largely eliminated,  and anyone could teach, without passing any test of their knowledge and skills and without any professional preparation. Teachers could also be fired for any reason, without any protection of their freedom to teach.

At the Education Nation Summit hosted by NBC news in late September, the Republican nominee reiterated his disdain for the teaching profession when he called for restricting teachers’ unions from participating in the political process. He justified this by saying that Democratic politicians have a conflict of interest in dealing with teacher unions because the unions contribute so heavily to their campaigns.

From CBS news:

Speaking in New York at Education Nation, a forum sponsored by NBC, Romney told interviewer Brian Williams that he is not necessarily against a right to strike. “I don’t know that I would prevent teachers from being able to strike,” he said, adding later that “allowing teachers to strike on matters such as compensation I think is a right that exists in this country.”

The bigger problem, Romney said, is that “the person sitting across the table from them should not have received the largest campaign contribution from the teachers union themselves … [It's] an extraordinary conflict of interest and something that should be addressed.”

According to CBS, Romney said that “we simply can’t have” elected officials who may receive contributions from teachers’ unions negotiating with them.

“I think it’s a mistake,” Romney said. “I think we have to get the money out of the teachers unions going into campaigns.”

CBS adds: “He suggested that money should somehow be diverted or cut off,” but — as is typical with Romney — “he did not offer details.”

Let’s clarify this. Romney, even under Citizens United, would set limits on teacher contributions to political races because they have to later sit and negotiate with those who may have received their money? (Point of information, Mr. Romney: that’s not exactly how it works.)

But under that same Citizens United, it’s OK for the Koch brothers to masquerade as a grassroots organization like Restore Our Future to promote their wishes through duplicity, smoke and mirrors, or for an organization like ALEC to push their agendas through members who actually serve in state houses and the US Congress, or for someone like Grover Norquist to have his no tax contract.

Billionaires, in other words, can contribute all they want to political causes, but a bunch of teachers, making a middle class wage should have the amount of money they can contribute to the political discussion limited.

And then there’s class size.

Romney has stated numerous times that class size does not matter (although presumably it mattered to him when he chose a school with small classes for his own children).

The former Massachusetts governor’s declarations that class size does not play a role in student achievement flies in the face of decades of research and the first-hand knowledge of educators and parents.

From Education Votes:

Referencing a single report from his tenure as governor, Romney said, “. . . within the normal range that exists in schools, it wasn’t classroom size that was driving [student achievement]. Nor was it spending per student.”

Dennis Van Roekel, a high school math teacher from Arizona with more than two decades of classroom experience, said Romney’s remarks indicate he is “oblivious to what is good for our nation’s students.”

Van Roekel, president of the National Education Association, which represents more than 3 million educators, said: “Romney . . . proved he’s completely out of touch with parents and educators. He continues to insist that class size doesn’t matter.

Romney’s class size comments have become a staple of his on the campaign trail.  And it’s a long-held position. Romney wrote in his book No Apology that “the effort to reduce classroom size may actually hurt education more than it helps.”

Teachers are a part of Romney’s 47%, for whom he has no regard.

Romney sees teachers and their unions as parasitic.

As a public school teacher with over 25 years of experience, I find his attitude both reprehensible and alarming.

What do you think?


Related Care2 Coverage

7 Ways Romney’s Education Plan Would Destroy America’s Schools

Romney’s Education Plan Recycles Failed Ideas

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Photo Credit: screenshot from NBC


Charles P.
Charles P5 years ago

In the first place, willie lent one of his "silver spoon" sons about 10 mil to "invest" in a charter school business. Of course he wants charter schools. Charter schools are corporate welfare. They are paid for with taxpayers dollars and the investors make a profit. The taxpayer dollars are taken from public education funds. If you are not satisified with public education, get involved. If you are not happy after that, send you child to another school, but don't expect the taxpayers to foot the bill while you rob their funds and the investors get wealthy. By the way, willie lied his butt off during the debate. Since when is "presidential" to stand there and tell lie after lie?

Marie W.
Marie W5 years ago

Poor Steve, always black (liberal) and white (conservative). Unions are not THE reason for the issues with education in the US. Please read history. It is more complicated. Multiple factors have contributed.
And Romney is wrong that privatization is the answer. He promotes it as the answer to everything.
The world's most proven most successful education system is Finland- highly socialist. Results from the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), a standardized test given to 15-year-olds in more than 40 global venues, revealed Finnish youth to be the best young readers in the world. Three years later, they led in math. By 2006, Finland was first out of 57 countries (and a few cities) in science. In the 2009 PISA scores released last year, the nation came in second in science, third in reading and sixth in math among nearly half a million students worldwide.
Why aren't we copying a proven success?

Liliana G.
Liliana Garcia5 years ago

If Romney thinks so low of teachers then he holds no respect for the students and their parents as well.

Diana Bair
Diana Bair5 years ago

Mitt wants to "privatize" everything. education, soc.sec, firemen, police, everything he thinks will work to make a bigger profit. he does NOT .......CARE about the people he wants to be president, but dispose of half the population!!!!!!!. and a lot of the ones he does not care about will VOTE for him!!!!!!!. do you know the term VOTING AGAINST YOURSELF?????, a lot of you DO IT!!!!!!. It is voting for a person just because they are in your party, or they have some how "brain-washed" you!!!!!!!. do you know the term "VOTE YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES"???, This is looking around your home,family, needs,income,even, if you have money coming out your "behind" vote romney, if you have needs health,children,home,income. etc, DO NOT vote fot Romney, he could care less for you...or yours!!!!!!!. the republicain party NO LONGER excists!!!!!!, it is now the AYN RAND REPUBLICIAN PARTY, but is not our GOP, anymore!!!!!!. Diana.

linda h.
linda harling5 years ago


Margaret G.
Margaret Garside5 years ago

The Right has been trying to get rid of public education for decades. Now they also want to open public lands up for oil and gas exploration, yell that public transportation is un-American, and think money on public infrastructure is wasted.

Does anyone else see a pattern here?

Luvenia V.
Luvenia V5 years ago

Steve R., the BEST school systems in the world have teachers unions. I am sure that YOU however could do much better if ONLY you got to work and tried. We see the results of our lost unions and it is NOT good. As the number of people in unions goes down so does the protection of workers, their wages and their benefits. Sorry but don't let the FACTS get in the way of your rants. YOUR posts are examples of how NOT to be for most of us.

Homer H.
Homer H.5 years ago

It appears that Steve R. could probably have used a little more education. Then he might be able to express his opinion without using gutter language. Of course, if you can keep people uneducated and afraid, they are easier to control...thus, the effort by Republicans to suppress the vote. Richard B. has it nailed...if people are paying attention to facts, Romney should get trounced.

Lloyd H5 years ago

Well that would depend on which Romney one was talking to as well as the month, week, day, or hour that the question was ask. Then of coarse as with all of his answers on will have to wait and seen just what his Campaign spokespeople have to say about just exactly what he meant and what he believes. Then you can guess just how long it takes for all previous answers to be changed by calls from Lardo Limbaugh, Corporate CEOs and wealthy donors.
You have a better chance of predicting the exact time for the end of the Earth down to the second than thinking you know what Romney actually believes in or actually plans to do if he becomes President.

Steve R.
Steve R5 years ago

"Mitt Romney wants to destroy public education in the US"....

That's rich, coming from liberals that have ALREADY destroyed public education in America!

Do you socialist critters simply IGNORE FACTS?

Go watch "Waiting For Superman" on YouTube and get a brain already!

It will "educate" you on how the UNIONS are directly responsible for the reprehensible state of our public education. And how a LIBERAL is trying to do something about it!

UNIONS - that have manipulated teachers "rights" to the point where it's almost impossible to fire useless ones that are NOT helping our kids, and equally difficult to give extra reward to excellent ones!

Some kind of wonderful arrangement that is, right? Why the hell would I want to enter the teaching profession if I can't be rewarded for excelling - and if the lazy bum teaching (or goofing off) in the class next door earns the same as I do whether his students get "educated" or not???

Pathetic - but hey - as long as you can give your readers a little anti-Romney thrill, right? Problem is - they're like puppy dogs - they'll eat anything you feed them, even if it's bullshit!