by Ashley Killough, CNN
(CNN) – President Barack Obama's re-election campaign continued to hound Mitt Romney Friday over his position that smaller class sizes may not be a key component for quality education.
Democratic Mayor Michael Nutter of Philadelphia, where Romney stopped the day prior to talk with teachers at a charter school, leveled heavy charges at the candidate, saying his policies were "out of touch," "misguided" and "backwards."
"He certainly left an impression here in the city that he has no idea what he's talking about when it comes to education," Nutter said on a conference call with reporters Friday organized by the campaign.
The mayor also described Romney's meeting in Philly as a "drive-by visit" due to its short length.
When Romney stopped at a local school Thursday, he pointed to studies that countered common thought that smaller class sizes contributed to increased learning for students.
He cited a 2007 analysis by the McKinsey Global Institute that argues "evidence suggests that, except at the very early grades, class size reduction does not have much impact on student outcomes," based on the 112 studies the group examined for the report.
Editor's note: Pedro Noguera is a professor at New York University and director of the Metropolitan Center for Urban Education. He is editor of "Unfinished Business: Closing the Achievement Gap in Our Nation's Schools" and author of "The Trouble With Black Boys ... And Other Reflections on Race, Equity and the Future of Public Education."
By Pedro Noguera, Special to CNN
(CNN) – For the past 25 years I have been working as an educator, researcher and policy advocate.
I am also the parent of four children who have attended public schools.
In each of these roles I have tried to improve public education and advance the educational rights of children, particularly those who have historically been poorly served.
Given my background, I was pleasantly surprised by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's recent assertion that education was "the civil rights issue of our time".
Romney is only the most recent politician to connect changes in education to civil rights. Similar remarks have been made by President Obama as well.
Typically, the politicians who make such declarations link it to a call for reform.
Romney has chosen to connect his declaration to the issue of choice and vouchers.
The question is: Why does Romney believe that simply by promoting school choice the problems that plague public education in America will go away?
By John S. Wilson, Special to CNN
Editor’s note: John S. Wilson is a contributing writer for The Loop 21, Mediaite and Black Enterprise. He frequently writes about health and education policies and politics. You may reach him on Twitter: @johnwilson.
(CNN) - Last month, a few high school students sent out racist tweets about Washington Capitals player Joel Ward after he scored a winning goal against the Boston Bruins in overtime. Responding later in an interview, Ward, who is black, said, “People are going to say what they want to say," and he shrugged off those comments. But the students' high schools sure didn't.
Almost immediately after reports of the tweets, the schools began looking into ways of punishing the students for their actions outside the classroom. The schools absolutely should express their discontent with the offensive tweets. But should they punish the students? Do they even have the ability to do so? Not likely.
One official, Jonathan Pope of the Gloucester School Committee in Massachusetts, admitted as much in an interview with MSBNC.com: "We don't know whether we actually have any legal standing to implement any kinds of penalties for that kind of behavior done outside school on a private communication system."
Pope and other school officials may want to look toward the Supreme Court on this point. The 1969 Tinker v. Des Moines ruling held that students' speech was subject to punishment if it "materially and substantially" affected an institution's educational mission. These few tweets couldn't possibly pass that bar and thus qualify for the schools' disciplinary action.
CNN’s Schools of Thought blog is a place for parents, educators and students to learn about and discuss what's happening in education. We're curious about what's happening before kindergarten, through college and beyond. Have a story to tell? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org