Posted In: Education Support Professionals, Election 2012, Multimedia, Uncategorized, Virginia

Romney to school bus drivers: You don’t count

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By Amanda Litvinov / photo by monkeyz_uncle

With his newly announced running mate Congressman Paul Ryan in tow, GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney took the opportunity on Saturday during two campaign stops to go on the attack—not only against his opponents in Washington, but also against school bus drivers.

Speaking to crowds in Manassas and Richmond, Virginia, Romney articulated his belief that school bus drivers, and by extension all education support professionals, play no role in student achievement. When a child makes the honor roll, Romney said, “I realize to get to school they’ve got to go on a bus. And the bus driver is driving the bus. But when [the student] makes the honor roll, I don’t credit the bus driver. I credit the kid who got the honor roll.”

Romney’s mean-spirited speech (in which he went on to degrade several other categories of public employees) sent ripples of alarm through the education community. Why would a presidential candidate go out of his way to denigrate the role that education support professionals play in the life of a child? Is Romney so disconnected from the lives of average Americans that he doesn’t understand how a school community works?

“He clearly doesn’t understand what our job is,” said Hugh Murray Jr., who drives a bus and serves as a driver instructor for Virginia’s Loudoun County Schools. “We’re not just driving, we’re making sure these kids are safe and taken care of.”

Hear school bus driver Chris Bridges tell what his job means to him.


NEA members know that school bus drivers do much more than make the wheels on the bus go ’round and ’round. They are the first and last school employee that many children encounter. They encourage children to start their day right, and encourage them to keep trying if it goes wrong. They are trained to maintain safety and discipline, and to respond to scraped knees and first day of school jitters. They are also key to bullying prevention and are on the front lines of protecting vulnerable students.

Manassas City teacher Kellie Blair Hardt, who was at the Romney-Ryan event just a few miles from Metz Middle School where she works, said Romney’s comments are in keeping with his belief that class size doesn’t matter.

“From the bus drivers to the cafeteria workers to the assistant in my own special education classroom, ESPs are an integral part of the success of our students,” said Hardt, who is president of her local and the Manassas City Educator of the Year. “Romney’s statement should open the eyes of anyone who really cares about public education—he doesn’t understand it and that’s why ESPs are of no importance to him.”

Murray, who started working in Loudoun County transportation seven years ago after serving 20 years in the U.S. Marine Corps, said bus drivers provide valuable information every day to educators and administrators about student needs and behavior issues, which helps them better serve their students.

“The way I see it, I’m like a parent while they’re in my care,” Murray said. “I have the same concerns for them that I would have for my own children.”

Seventy-seven percent of education support professionals live in the communities in which they work, which further strengthens the trust that students and their parents place in ESPs.

“Gov. Mitt Romney had the gall to minimize the impact educators have on students. Regardless of whether it’s a bus driver, a teacher or a school secretary, everyone in the school community works together to help students succeed,” said NEA President Dennis Van Roekel. “Ensuring that all our kids get a quality education requires that we all work together. As adults, we set a very poor example if we call names, throw around divisive rhetoric and minimize the contributions of members of the education team—when that happens, our students lose.”

  • Sign our open letter to Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan asking them to learn the value of public education.
  • Visit our Election 2012 page to find out more about where the presidential candidates stand on the issues.

Reader Comments

  1. TS

    “From the bus drivers to the cafeteria workers to the assistant in my own special education classroom, ESPs are an integral part of the success of our students,” said Hardt, who is president of her local and the Manassas City Educator of the Year. …

    When I went to school, we had no cafeteria workers until the high school, we just brought our own lunches or, once a week, volunteer mothers served it. In high school, the very limited “cafeteria” was staffed during breaks by student volunteers and the profits supported their extra curricular programs.

    While there are exceptions, support personnel very often add expense with very little benefit for the students.

    Reply
  2. Don Barber

    This above all other things previously remarked on shows just how far removed from the general population Romney is. He just doesn’t get it.

    Reply
  3. Carol

    This article is biased and mean-spirited. Bus drivers do contribute to a child’s welfare and attitude. Their job is hard. But the academic success of a student should be credited to the student first, their parents, teachers, tutors and mentors.

    Reply
  4. Gerald Brown

    I just retired. I have for along time disagreed with the NEA and the state organizations (I worked in both GA and TN) on most of their liberal views and contributions. Most of my dues were used to support the high salaries of the top NEA officers and to contribute to the liberal politicians with views I do not agree with. I was both a teacher and a bus driver with 24 years of service. Teachers need to take a look at an organization in Georgia that has started educatorsfirst.org. Wish I would have had a choice like this before I retired.

    Reply
    • Roberta Hiser

      I agree with you. I am a long time republican. I am tired of being pressured into liberal views. I teach to ensure my students and families are independent and productive. I am tired of the passing the buck and the comments that are nothing but distractions from our real issues in education. If being a democrat in education is so great, then why is our schools and education such a mess?

      Frustrated for families
      Roberta Hiser
      Questioning my membership

      Reply
      • joe nesselroth

        Hmmm, you were a teacher, and you offer us this: ” …then why is our schools and education such a mess?”
        Kind of reminds me of GW’s “Is our children learning?” query.
        maybe part of the answer to your question is embedded in your own question?

        as to the article and Romney’s statement- i think that it goes to his disconnect from what is really required for any individual to perform well. in his mind, it is only individual effort that matters, which ignores the impact of all the suport systems that work together to assist that individual in attaining their goal. you never had someone encourage you to succeed? to act as that role model that you wanted to emulate? that lifted your spirits wehn you were down, just by being available and open to you? that support is what President Obama was referncing in his “you did not build it” comment, which really looked at the fact that all the supports provided by government are critical in creating job growth, that it is rarely solely individual effort that creates anything.

        Reply
  5. Michael Wojahn

    Actually, I agree, and I’m a bus driver. In our district about half of the kids are delivered by their parents or walk to school, there is no influence from the bus driver.
    The number one influence on a students getting on the honor roll is the parents. Those who work with kids have an influence, sometimes a great one, but if the parents are not on board there is little you can do.
    So go ahead and get indignant about your job having an influence on kids or not, but if the parents were not behind you, you would get nothing done.

    Reply
  6. Dean Ashman

    If this is so, we need to get on those bus drivers about all the students that fail or do poorly in school.

    Reply
    • Donald R Vineburg

      I am a retired school principal. Bus Drivers have an awesome responsibility. Who else would take care of 50 kids with their back towards them?… and then, to beat that, operate a moving vehicle safely, at the same time?. School employees work as a team for the benefit of the education of our treasured youth and all are important and serve a vital function- secretaries, custodians, teachers, aides, bus drivers.

      Romney and Ryan (and Gov Walker) claim that the debt will harm the future ? I believe without a great education now, there will be NO future!

      Reply
  7. Martyn Baker

    In 2011 the NEA made donations to both parties; 98% to the Demcratic party and 2% to the GOP. So why is anyone surprised when the articles are inaccurate, misleading and often blatantly false. The NEA is a poorly disguised PAC for Obama, nothing more. The NEA president made $397,000 last year. How in touch is he with the plight of the average teacher. This whole organization is a sham from the top down. I am glad to no longer contribute a dime to them.

    Reply
  8. Mike

    Now I know why I was a solid “C” student all those years, I never took the bus, I walked. I’m calling my parents now to blame them for my poor performance. I knew it wasn’t my fault.

    Reply
  9. steve

    I am an educator and had planned to renew my membership. Anyone in education understand that there are many individuals involved in a students life. However, Romney did not say the bus driver did not count, Mitt Romney was continuing to stress how out of touch Obama is when he said “if you have a business you did not build it, someone else built that business.” NEA you lost a member today.

    Reply
    • Mark

      Steve,
      Regardless of our political views, I would hope that each concerned citizen would take the time to read the complete comments of a candidate before accepting the soundbites we are fed in today’s society.
      As a member of the educational community, I would have expected my fellow professional cohorts to inform themselves fully. As a social studies instructor, I work tirelessly to instruct my students on the process of researching factual content, analyzing the findings, and drawing conclusions based upon their findings. This is something we all need to do at this very important time in our history.
      Unfortunately, our present society has failed to learn that the history of the United States was built through COMPROMISE and not obstructionism.

      Reply
      • TS

        Overall I agree with your message. However, since Reagan’s agreement with the Democrats to raise taxes in return for 3:1 spending cuts that never happened, conservatives have increasingly grown tired of one-sided compromising that amounts to agreeing on how quickly we move left. With our nation facing critical levels of debt due to liberal spending from both Republicans and Democrats, that fatigue has reached a level where many are no longer content to simply slide downhill slower.

        Reply
    • Teresa

      Steve-That is not what Obama said. Republicans edited it to make it sound that way so they could use it against him. Listen to the actual speech. Obama said that businesses didn’t build the infastructure that helped them be successful.

      Reply
    • Velma

      I listened to the speech wherein President Obama said those words. Republicans have taken those words “you didn’t build that” way out of context, knowing that so many would latch onto it as a negative. Republicans, READ on your own; don’t allow your politicians to interpret for you. You owe it to yourself to at least do that before you go into a voting booth and pull the lever. I challenge you who are perpetuating the lie to read the speech in it’s entirety. THEN interpret it for yourself.

      Reply
  10. RecallDevalPatrick

    The bus driver who took me to school didn’t help me achieve anything in life, he just smelled like stale beer and cigars.

    Reply
  11. Lynne

    This report is exactly why I do not belong to the NEA. It is out of context & mean spirited. I would hope that school bus drivers , and somehow by your extension, all support personnel, do not have the same impact on a student’s honor roll achievement as the student & the teacher. And where does the teacher quoted then reach the rationalization that this shows Romeny’s opnions about large classes??? I am disgusted with the NEA & it’s lack of pjrofessionalism shown in its dogged support of one party to the point of an article like this. This has nothing to do with voting for Obama or Romney. It has to do with the lack of any apparent thought about the canidates. It is obvious that Democrats are always right & Republicans are always wrong according to the NEA. Not a great example of higher level thinking skills, but a keen statement on the NEA’s spewing drival.

    Reply
    • annabella

      Totally Agree! They don’t care about the students. They protect lazy and mediocre teachers

      Reply
  12. Shocked

    Cant believe people have to PAY a membership to NEA to be told how they should vote! It is obvious they back the candidate of their choice with YOUR money!

    Reply
  13. Lili

    Why would a presidential candidate say “bus drivers don’t count”? His words have been twisted. Also,if a child does well there are many factors to that – same thing if the child does poorly. Lets focus our energies on more important matters.

    Reply
  14. Alicia

    I am just returning to a job in the states. I’ve been teaching internationally for 3 years. I was wondering whether or not I should join “the union”. Question answered. I’m terribly appalled by the fact that Mr. Romney’s words were taken so out of context! I’m not saying I’m for Romney or for Obama–that doesn’t matter–but what does matter is I don’t want to be a part of an organization such as this one that would support such an article.

    Reply
  15. Joseph Baptist

    So nice to see that the official NEA position is that bus drivers have more impact on student success than teachers do.

    And that is a more accurate “spin” than your biased partisan propaganda report.

    Thanks for taking our money and then throwing teachers under the bus.

    Reply
  16. Catharine Harrell

    While his comments may have been taken out of context or twisted to make them seem degrading to bus drivers or others, the bottom line is that if a student makes honor roll, all the support that student got helped him or her on the way. If a student is bullied or harassed every morning on the way to school or every afternoon on the way home, it is less likely that the student will function at their best. This is in keeping with Romney’s commentary about how someone who creates a business did it themselves. Nobody does anything without the support of others. Nobody eats without the support of those who grew, transported, sold, and cooked the food. Nobody gets on the honor roll without having the support of the adults and family members around them. Nobody creates a business without the support of the public utilities, roads, construction workers, etc. Nobody functions in a vacuum. It is a beautiful thing when we all work together to accomplish the best for everybody. Romney has repeatedly said things that make it seem that this working together is not important. His comments are divisive and money-centric. Instead of fighting about his garbage, or Obama’s for that matter, we would be better served to realize that united we stand and divided we fall.

    Reply
    • Libysnow

      Nice sentiments…and when our students fail miserably, we are all (including Bus Drivers) going to accept responsibility for that too – right?

      Reply
  17. A.S. Sanchez

    I am not voting for Mitt for many reasons. Having said that, this article is very problematic to me. Amanda Litvinov is doing the same thing here that republicans are doing to Obama with the “you didn’t build it” line. Please, let us use our higher order thinking skills when writing a political article. We are not brain-washed-single-minded followers of a candidate. We are educators!

    Reply
  18. Robert Arenas

    It seems that some of the people who have posted comments take exception to the characterization of Romney’s comment as anti-school bus driver. They argue that it does not reflect, as the article implies, a general disrespect on Romney’s part toward education support professionals and a lack of knowledge about how school communities as a whole contribute to the success of a student.

    OK. Fair enough.

    Let’s take a look, then, at some highlights of Romney’s education platform and who he is relying on to advise him on education issues.

    Romney proposes to:
    Convert the largest federal program dedicated to low-income students (Title I) and children with disabilities and special needs (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, or IDEA) into a national voucher program.
    Expand and make permanent the Washington, D.C., voucher program.
    Repeal the law that eliminates banks as middle men on federally guaranteed student loans.
    Eliminate teacher certification requirements.

    His advisers:
    Rod Paige, Secretary of Education under George W. Bush, called the National Education Association a “terrorist organization”
    Tom Luna, Idaho superintendent of public instruction, architect of bills to increase class sizes, reduce the teaching force, replace teachers with mandatory online classes and erode educator rights
    Nina Rees, President Bush’s Secretary for Innovation and Improvement, pushed the No Child Left Behind Act and advocated that public school funds be diverted to private schools.

    As an educator and a critical thinker, and based on Romney’s comments about school bus drivers, class size, college affordability, etc., his education record as governor of Massachusetts, as well as his top education advisers, I can only conclude that Romney will not support educators and will drive us headlong into the privatization of public education.

    Reply
    • Diane

      I like Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan. I will vote for them in the election. They are correct when it is the child who makes the grades. It is their hard work and classroom teachers.
      I agree that bus drivers and other employess are a great asset to education. They are the ones that bring them to school and take them home and can make or break their day by the bus drivers attitudes. But I also know you put up with many attitudes. My hat is off to you for being on time and dependable.

      Reply
    • Tom

      Thank you Robert on your intelligent reply to this emotional argument. If only all of us would take the time to do the research as you have maybe our conversations would be on a higher plane. It is so sad to read the vicious attacks written here and in many dabates about this election. The sad fact is our emotions sometimes do not allow room for knowledge.

      Reply
  19. Andrew

    My pro Romney comments disappeared one hour after I posted them. Your article is terribly biased and offers not one bit of evidence that Romney says support personnel “don’t count.” NEA should be ashamed to publish this “hit piece” about Romney.

    Reply
  20. Mary

    Shame on you!! Teachers teach students to think, not parrot some lame agenda. Tell the truth!!

    Reply
  21. Mary

    Shame on you!! Teachers teach students to think, not behave like sheep. We need to defend the truth and not twist words to fit an agenda!

    Reply
  22. Jerry

    Hatchet job. We are supposed to be teaching critical thinking skills, anyone with half a brain would understand that Romney was not degrading bus drivers (and he never mentioned any other paraprofessional or support worker, by the way) but advocating personal responsibility. As a teacher who teaches difficult to reach students, I cannot be condemned if a child fails, and I shouldn’t take credit if a child makes the honor roll. I couldn’t make it earn that without his complete cooperation

    Reply
  23. Andrew

    I am sick of seeing MY professional association twisting reality to support its own one sided political philosophy. Nowhere in your article were you able to substantiate your ridiculous claims that Romney says bus drivers, or support personnel, “don’t count.” Stop the biased avalanche of negative propaganda aimed at conservative candidates.

    Reply
  24. Stacey McMackin

    The greatest leaders don’t worry about their words being taken out of context, because they pay attention to the tone of what they’re saying so that it all supports what they believe in. If Romney doesn’t believe that support professionals are integral to the profession, then those words out of context support that. If he does, where is the sensitivity to what he’s saying to understand that “not going to credit the bus drivers” is going to be taken as a negative toward bus drivers????

    Reply
  25. Jim Morin

    Smear article. Should have led with, “This article is a narrow minded opinion piece…” By the way, I TEACH students, and I know I don’t deserve credit – each student earns whatever credit they get for themselves.

    Reply
  26. Eduel Atkins

    This is ridiculous! I am a teacher and member of the NEA. But you have CLEARLY taken Romney’s words out of context and missed the message he was trying to convey. Sadly, a lot of what is wrong in public education is brought on by the liberal agenda, in my opinion. I prefer a president that gives credit to the student for his successes and gives blame to the student for his failures. Too much accoutability is being passed on to the teacher for things we have no authority or control over. Very little responsibility is being given to the student and they are learning to give less effort because of this. It isn’t working with the welfare system and it isn’t working with education. It’s educational socialism. Sad.

    Reply
    • Teresa

      Please look up the word socialism. So tired of that term being thrown around and used so incorrectly.

      Also, I’m wondering what about the “liberal agenda” (whatever that is) has ruined education? NCLB has had a negative impact on education and that came from Bush.

      It’s time to stop blaming “liberals” or “conservatives”. It gets us NOWHERE and has done nothing but divide our country.

      Reply
  27. Kathy Torkar

    I read your article. Either you left out a very important quote, or you are peddling blatant lies. No where did Mr. Romney say “You don’t count.” By your own words, he remarked about the importance of bus drivers, and by extension…. support professionals.
    Pants on fire!

    Reply
    • AR

      Exactly. Romney didn’t say “you don’t count”. The liberal opinion writer at the Washington Post did.

      Reply
  28. Nick

    This is a prime example of how the NEA would never even consider supporting anyone except a Democrat for any office. I am sorry Gov Granholm did a horrible job for education and teachers while in Michigan and the NEA supported her.

    Why not take more partial quotes and twist them into what you want? I could do the same for the other side too.

    Reply
  29. Deb

    I find it very disturbing to see how easily a comment by a candidate can be transformed into such a distorted representation. How can anyone legitimately interpret Romney’s comment about not crediting the bus driver with a student’s hard work and success, to, Romney denigrates bus drivers and all others who play a supporting role in a child’s education?? It is an extreme and convoluted leap in logic to assert that, by his statement, Romney “… articulated his belief that school bus drivers, and by extension all education support professionals, play no role in student achievement.” Goodness, gracious!

    It is apparent to me that Romney thinks students are responsible for their success. Isn’t that what we as educators also believe in?

    Unfortunately, on both sides of the equation, politicians, political parties and their supporters are all guilty of doing the same: misinterpret, make it sound as alarming and frightening as possible, and attack, attack, attack. How sad that our association for professional educators is so clearly partisan as well.

    Reply
  30. steve kramer

    Perhaps alot of comments on here are from childless kids…..if they bus drivers are of no use, then start walking your kids or driving your kids daily to school….u entrust them to safely deliver and return ur children to school every day..if u dont need them, dont use them people…..

    Reply
    • Tom. TtT

      Steve- I have 3 children and 2 grandchildren. All of them rode the bus and I valued each and every bus driver they had! I still don’t credit the bus driver for my children’s grades. I do credit them with The caring , loving nature they showed my children on a daily basis.my children felt safe leaving the house and going to school each day. I bet Mitt Romney feels the same way. I still don’t get where you are saying that anyone is saying you are of no use!! The point here was missed. Once again, if my child failed a subject I never blamed the bus driver. And on the flip side if they got an “A” – I never credited the bus driver. The bus driver didn’t fit in either equation.
      A big Thank You to all of the bus drivers that do a great job each and every day!! Please don’t let twisted words sour you . Do your own reading and check out each candidate! We are in pretty bad shape and we truly need the best person to get us out of this mess. And trust me hand-outs are not the answer!!! We can’t keep spending more than we have!!

      Reply
    • Jerry

      You are probably a bus driver or family member or you would be objective. By extension Romney also said “teachers don’t count” because he never said they were the primary reason kids excell. Or by extension he said, “The Parents don’t county” or by extension, “The Current President” doesn’t count” Wow, who knows how many people don’t count??? At this rate, Nobody will count.

      I think bus drivers put up with a lot of crap, teachers put up with a load of crap. But how does one explain why one kid will fail and the other will pass? Even the best teachers, unless they are grade inflating has at least one failure. Actually it has been my experience the better the teacher, the higher the standards and the simple facts some kids refuse to work.

      Reply
  31. D Whitehead

    Shame on NEA for jumping on the “Kill Romney” band wagon. The point Gov. Romney was making was legitimate.

    Reply
  32. Tom Finnegan

    Stop twisting words- Will you stop at nothing to win?? Some people will say or do anything –even lie– to get a vote- What has happened to the DEMS? Hopefully, you are smart enough to see the meaning in what he said- Do you really think he was saying “You don’t count” – give me a break!!! I have a good idea- How about we talk about the crappy shape this economy is in- Or all of the broken promises– Both sides are truly hurting!!!!

    Reply
  33. Marlen

    When people like Romney trivialize the roles of the adults which our children encounter in their daily lives he also calls into question the adults who send these children out into the world each day and hopefully greet them at the end of their day. We need to be carefull of the things we say about each other when we open our mouths, just as we attempt to teach our children the same.

    Reply
    • Richard Wede

      Translation: anything anyone says must conform to your hyper-sensitive politically correct “standards”, or else they will be accordingly excoriated.

      Reply
  34. Rob

    A bus driver gets the student to school. How does the bus driver get the student on the honor roll?

    Reply
  35. pepe

    NEA is another propaganda office of the Democratic party. What Romney said was right. If my child fails a class or does bad in school, I will not blame the bus driver. Likewise if my child succeed I won’t credit the bus dirver.

    Reply
  36. Jack

    NEA is twisting words, making implications, and drawing conclusions on their own implications. I am at the point of discontinueing my association with NEA.

    Reply
    • Lisa

      I don’t know what other incidences with the NEA you are referring to Jack, and I wish to just confine my comments to this one particular instance. With all due respect, Romney said what he said. For a candidate who is attempting to reach out to all constituents, this is the wrong way to do it. He is encouraging ‘crabs in a barrel’ syndrome. Step on someone else to rise to the top. Of course we credit the hard work of students, but all the other puzzle pieces of life help to motivate and maintain those students in their endeavors. It wasn’t necessary to denigrate bus drivers to make a point. Romney is highly educated, I’m sure that somewhere, some teacher taught him how to make better use of his words. We can agree to disagree with civility and respect. As a woman, an African-American, a member of the middle class, an urban dweller and a teacher and an American citizen (among a host of other categories-and none in any particular order) I have YET to hear or read a statement from Mr. Romney that spoke to my situation, supported my community or effectively addressed concerns I have for this country.

      Reply
    • Susan

      I would have discontinued my membership long ago, except that I pay for it and they get the money even if I do. Since “joining” I have received regular mailings from the Democratic National Party. They apparently sold my name and address, in spite of my request to not receive political mailings.

      Reply
  37. Tom

    This is the reason that I have a difficult time ever voting for a Republican as it shows an underlying theme in their legistlation and thought process. Most successful Republicans can either downplay it or will truly try to work for a non-partisan solution. However Romney and his campaign workers have chosen to be very forthright in their beliefs and it hurts the entire Republican party portraying it as a party of elitists. I believe that the citizens of the USA are starting to turn the pendulum in the opposite direction and will begin to demand non-partisan solutions to our problems. If it is so, then both parties will have to change.

    Reply
  38. Robert Arenas

    To those individuals who maintain that Romney’s bus driver comment was taken out of context, consider some other questionable comments he’s made. Here are a few:
    “I like to fire people.”
    “Poor people don’t need help.”
    “The effort to reduce classroom size may actually hurt education more than it helps.”
    $374,327 (what Romney made in one year for giving speeches) was “not very much.”
    “Corporations are people.”
    Students should “get as much education as they can afford.”
    All that after a 3-minute Google search.
    Keep in mind that Romney has uttered most these statements in controlled, often scripted, campaign events.
    You don’t have to look very hard to see the makings of a man whose worldview is vastly different than the average workaday American.

    Reply
    • Andrew

      Why do you defend an article that twists, and distorts Romney’s comments? You compound the problem by citing even more blatant examples of comments which were taken out of context. All of the examples you gave have definitely been removed from their relevant context, and in some cases, rephrased, in an attempt to to make Romney look either mean or stupid.

      Reply
    • Joseph Baptist

      What if we put these quotes into context?

      “I like to be able to fire people who do a bad job”

      >Do you like to be able to give students grades other than “A”s, if they fail to earn “A”s?
      If your answer is “Yes”, you agree with Romney.

      “Poor people don’t need welfare that doesn’t help them to stop being poor.”
      If you believe that underachieving students need remediation, and not just grade inflation, then you are agreeing with Romney.

      “In some ways, even such common sense education initiatives as class size reduction can actually harm students. When students are in inadequate facilities, because there are no longer enough classrooms, it can harm student achievement. Similarly, when untrained people are hired to teach, due to a shortage of qualified teachers, it can harm student achievement.”
      >If you believe that having to use broom closets as classrooms and having unqualified teachers are harmful to student achievement, then you agree with Romney.

      “Compared to what Clinton or Obama raise or make when campaigning or at public appearances, $374,327 a year for speeches isn’t much.”
      >If you agree that $374k is much less than the millions of dollars that some celebrity politicians are able to raise, then you agree with Romney.

      “Just like school districts and teacher unions are made up of people, so are corporations made up of the people they employ. If you place extra tax burdens on corporations, you are placing those financial burdens on their customers and employees.”
      >If you believe that school districts and unions are made up of people, then you agree with Romney.

      “Young people shouldn’t feel that they have to go into massive debt to get a college degree that may not give them any benefits in the job market. They should certainly be encouraged to get as much education as they can afford, but they should not be tricked into borrowing for education that won’t help them to succeed.”
      >If you really think the best thing for your students to do with their future is to get hundreds of thousands of dollars into debt, to get a degree that prepares them for no career better than serving coffee, then you are a discredit to the teaching profession. If you think that education that prepares a student for a career is a good investment, and that spending as much as you can afford on “pure” education beyond that is still a good thing, then you agree with Romney.

      Reply
    • Jerry

      Total non-sequitors. We are ONLY evaluating the one statement; we are not making a political statement based on any other factors.

      Reply
  39. Jerry

    Now the NEA is editing the comments. This site is determined to preserve it’s skewed interpretation of Romney’s speech. Many people correctly interpreted his words as a possitive affirmation of success. I like the implication that conversely, if a kid fails we can’t blame the bus driver (or the teacher) which should be a relief to many.

    Reply
    • treed

      I apologize for the inconvenience of the lost comments, but it certainly wasn’t intentional editing. Unfortunately, when we upgraded the site yesterday, we lost all comments from somewhere around mid-April and forward. We encourage open debate on our site and only edit or delete comments when they contain personal attacks. Again, apologies for the lost comments.

      Reply
      • Jerry

        Three days in a row?

        Reply
    • skip miller

      thinks that if a child gets on the honor roll its all him but if he fails its the fault of the teacher you don’t know what fair is

      Reply
    • Marlen

      Have you ever seen how negatively something as simple as a bad experience on the bus ride into school can affect a child’s whole day. If not for the good or poor way in which these ESPs handle these situations, these experiences can certainly determine the type of performance which a child may or may not display during his or her day. And you’re going to tell me that these people don’t count. I’m a teaching assistant in my school district and I can certainly tell you how much we contribute to a child’s well-being when we can take the time out to help a child get through their day while the teacher has to concentrate on their other 18 to 25 children.

      Reply
  40. Mike

    What happened to all of the previous posts? There were so many from educators denouncing the ludicrous premise of the article, the twisting of facts until it fit the authors distorted view of the world. The point of Romney’s remarks was that individual effort is the PRIMARY reason for success. How the article went from individual effort and responsibility to Romney hates bus drivers and educators is mind blowing. If this is how the authoritarian elite of the NEA views the world then there is not much hope for our children now matter who is the white house. And, Mr. Van Roekel, it seems like the only devisive comments I read in this article are yours (oh! And the author’s). Remember, you lead educators, they are not idiots and eventually they will figure out who you really are, a propagandist, devisive politician of the worst kind. Commoners unite! Down with the King!

    Reply
    • treed

      I apologize for the inconvenience of the lost comments. Unfortunately, when we upgraded the site yesterday, we lost all comments from somewhere around mid-April and forward.

      Reply
  41. Dawn Thompson

    He oviously has not been in a school lately or he would know how much support
    people do to enhance every child they come in contact with

    Reply

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