RNC Convention Day 2 - chock full of misstatements

Day 2 of the RNC convention saw the introduction of Mitt Romney's running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan, a life long public employee.

One reader described his speech as "chock full of misstatements" - something many major media outlets also noticed.

Indeed, there were so many whoppers, it is now being parodied - Ryan Launches Campaign Theme of Lying About Everything

As for Presidential nominee Mitt Romney, he said he was working “around the clock” to add additional lies to his speech tonight: “I’m no Paul Ryan, but, darn it, I’m going to do my best.”

Here's the word cloud from Paul Ryan's speech

Ryan budget wrecks public education

Education issues have arrived front and center in the Presidential campaign. President Obama discussed education during his weekly address

With students starting to head back to school, President Obama used this week’s address to discuss the critical role that education plays in America’s future. Nothing is more important to a child’s education than a great teacher.

Unfortunately, tens of thousands of teachers will not be going back to school this year, partially because of budget cuts at the state and local level. That means more crowded classrooms, fewer kindergarten and preschool programs, and shorter school years and weeks. President Obama has proposed a jobs bill that would help states prevent further layoffs and rehire teachers, but Congress refuses to pass it.

Instead, the budget that almost every Republican voted for would further cut education in order to give tax breaks to millionaires and billionaires.

The debate continued in Ohio

President Barack Obama drew a sharp line with Republican Mitt Romney on education Tuesday, telling Ohio voters that "putting a college education within reach for working families doesn't seem to be a priority" for his opponent.

Obama quoted his Republican challenger's assertion that the best option for students trying to find an affordable education is to "shop around."

"That's his answer for a young person hoping to go to college — shop around, borrow money from your parents if you have to — but if they don't have it, you're on your own," Obama said in prepared remarks ahead of a planned campaign stop Tuesday afternoon.

The president was expected to point to the budget plan put forward by Romney's running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan, as he tries to paint the GOP ticket as too extreme for the nation.

He plans to criticize Ryan's budget proposal for cutting $115 billion from the Education Department, removing 2 million children from Head Start programs and costing 1 million college students their Pell Grants over the next decade.

According to the Washington Post, a recent poll on the Ryan budget found that a leading concern about the Ryan budget were cuts to education, and that those cuts raised serious doubts about Romney when voters were told that he supports the Ryan agenda.

Those cuts, as the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities discovered, are needed to fund massive tax cuts for the wealthiest

Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney plan to further defund education in order to provide tax cuts to people who have the least need. The choices for public education supporters have never been more stark.

GOP school privatization plan under scrutiny

No one thinks the house Republicans idea of a wild wild west of for-profit charter schools is a good idea.

They go too far for self-described conservative Terry Ryan of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, whose sister foundation sponsors about a half-dozen Ohio charter schools.

"Oh my goodness, have we not learned anything from the history of the last 10 years in Ohio?" asked Ryan.

"We believe in charter schools and competition, but for them to work effectively, there has to be strong accountability. This would bring us back in time to when we were a laughingstock nationally because of the poor quality of our charter schools."
"This is a blatant giveaway of public money to big Republican campaign contributors like David Brennan, who now will be able to enrich themselves even more at taxpayer expense," said Dale Butland, spokesman for Innovation Ohio.
Bill Sims, head of the Ohio Alliance for Public Charter Schools, also has concerns about the House proposals on for-profits - worrying that they could "take the public out of public charter schools."
A first read of the House version was discouraging for Perry White, founder and former executive director of Citizens Academy, a Cleveland charter school that has worked its way to an "excellent" rating from the state.

"If these provisions pass, Ohio will become the poster child for bad charter policy," White said in an email. "By weakening charter accountability, the Ohio House will unleash a tsunami of mediocrity."

There's even more questions being raised in this Dispatch article including the legality of this give-away to White Hat Management.

Education Czar ok with expanding charter failure

Currently Ohio has almost 100,000 students attending 339 charter schools, costing tax payers about $720 million a year. The Governors new budget seeks to significantly privatize public education further.

With so much at stake, there's currently a lot of lobbying going on, and lot of that lobbying is around this issue

In Ohio, a charter school must have a contract with one of 77 approved sponsors (also known as authorizers) who are responsible for overseeing academics and finances. Many are school districts or county educational service centers that sponsor only one or two charter schools, but a few are nonprofit organizations that sponsor dozens.

As introduced, Kasich's budget pins more responsibility on sponsors by forbidding them from adding schools if any of their current schools are in academic watch or academic emergency, the state's two lowest rankings.

Seems reasonable that we would want authorizers to only be sponsoring quality school programs. But there's a hitch, and it's a big one

That disqualifies just about everyone who's a sponsor now because almost all have at least one low-performing school, said Terry Ryan, who heads the Ohio offices of the conservative-leaning Thomas B. Fordham Institute. Its sister foundation sponsors seven charter schools in Ohio, one of which is in academic emergency.

One would think these organizations would want to spend some time fixing their current failing schools, but no, that's not what is being lobbied for in Columbus

Ryan would like to see that changed to allow, say, 20 percent of a sponsor's schools to be low-ranked. But he's quick to add, "We do not want to return to the days when 50, 60, 70 schools were being opened by people who did not have a solid track record. We're still seeing the repercussions from that."

20 percent! That's an awful lot of students being left behind. What does the Governor's education Czar think?

Sommers is amenable to a change.

Well of course he is. This massive expansion of charter schools has nothing to do with improving education quality. It's about the bottom line.