A Romney education advisor fills in some details at the convention

At this week’s Republican National Convention, the Hechinger Report interviewed Jim Peyser, a partner at NewSchools Venture Fund and a Romney education advisor.

Peyser talked about shrinking the Department of Education and taking out some provisions of “No Child Left Behind”(NCLB) during reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).

When it comes to changes like teacher evaluations and reforming tenure rules, Peyser acknowledges that those work rules are generally set at the state or local level, so federal leaders have a limited role. Charter schools have different work rules for teachers, and Romney would use his position to speak out in favor of developing more charter schools.

Peyser discussed how to promote school choice:

Increased school choice has become a signature issue for Romney – and the entire Republican Party. Romney’s white paper on education calls for putting more power in parents’ hands to choose schools for their children.

Yet, while parents care about academic quality, they might have a hard time evaluating it, Peyser said. An important component of expanded school choice would be having “information that is not only easier to get, but easier to understand,” he said.

“That’s only half of the equation,” Peyser said. “The other half is you have to have something to choose from.” Building up these quality options will take time. “It’s not a magic wand solution,” he said.

“From the convention: A Romney adviser on how he’d take on unions and school choice”, Sarah Butrymowicz, HechingerEd blog (Hechinger Report), August 30, 2012.

Note: I try to keep this blog non-partisan; it just happens that the Republican convention is happening this week. I hope to have lots of school choice news from the Democratic convention next week.

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