Student performance and staggeringly high dropout rates among minorities continue to be a driving issue in the debate over education. The No Child Left Behind Act was meant to raise reading and math scores by 2014, but critics of the Bush-era measure argue additional funding is needed to meet required benchmarks. School choice would give parents flexibility, but there is controversy over whether taxpayer dollars should be used for private or parochial schools.


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Candidates on Education

President Obama’s administration has allowed states greater flexibility to address achievement gaps.  His Race to the Top Challenge provides $500 million in state level grants to districts focused on improving learning programs for vulnerable children. He has overhauled the student loan program.

Mitt Romney supports the goals of No Child Left Behind. He has downplayed the link between student performance and class size, dismissing it as a tactic used to strengthen teachers unions. He is a proponent of school choice as an alternative to failing schools.