Republicans Talk Education at National Convention

School choice and merit pay are hot topics at this year's Republican National Convention.

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  1. After being postponed a day due to Hurricane Isaac, the Republican National Convention is finally underway, and it's hitting the topic of education hard. The GOP platform was officially released on Tuesday. Out of the 18 issues it addresses, three of them are about K-12 education, and two focus on higher education. The platform emphasizes parents as the primary educators, the importance of school choice, innovation instead of more funding, accountability and merit pay, abstinence education, expansion of higher ed. options, private-sector student financing, and more. See everything that they stand for here:
  2. Education Week sent writers Alyson Klein and Nirvi Shah to Tampa to hear from the delegates. In a blog post Tuesday, Nirvi noted that the GOP platform mirrors the now officially nominated Mitt Romney's plans for education.
  3. For a more detailed look on Romney's stance on school choice, check out this EdWeek article:
  4. Tuesday, the first day of the convention, offered some sharp rhetoric from Republican keynote speakers. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie railed at teachers' unions, saying that while Democrats "believe in teachers unions," Republicans "believe in teachers." Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum said that Obama's solution has been to "nationalize curriculum," referring presumably to the Common Core State Standards. See what our writers said about Tuesday's speeches here:
  5. Christie's speech attracted a lot of attention, both in favor and against:
  6. Nirvi was surprised to see who addressed children with disabilities on Tuesday night. Sher Valenzuela, a candidate for lieutenant governor of Delaware, and Santorum both spoke about their children with disabilities.
  7. In light of some hostility seen between the two major parties, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam seemed to speak amicably of President Obama's education policy. "The things that the Obama administration was asking to emphasize were things that, if you look, a lot of Republicans said, 'Hey, those are ideas we're comfortable with,' and I think that's still true," he said an interview with Nirvi. 
  8. Meanwhile, Alyson discusses the importance of young voters in this election, noting that higher education costs are a growing issue. She also mentions the high number of independents that are present at the convention. 
  9. Young people aren't only important as voters this year; high school senior Evan Draim, who is attending the convention, won a spot on the delegation this past May at the age of 17. Draim enthusiastically supports local control for schools, saying this is a great way for students to take a hold of their own education. 
  10. Keep up with all of the latest education-related election content on edweek.org:
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