Obama promotes education for all; Romney reserves it for a few

President Obama and Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential nominee, provided their detailed plans for education yesterday on NBC's "Education Nation" running this week in New York. "Education Nation" is NBC's year-round program discussing the state of education in America. In addition to invited guests, school employees are in the audience and have an opportunity to share their views and ask questions.

In his interview, President Obama talked about the role poverty plays in student performance and the effects of growing class sizes with the number of teachers laid off. He highlighted his efforts to reduce the cost of higher education through the expansion of Pell Grants and the reduction in interest rates on student loans. He repeated his support of teachers, smaller class sizes and increased parental involvement. Obama criticized those who consider constant teacher-bashing as education reform.

Romney touched on many of the same topics, but it's clear that he has a very different view of education. He emphasized the idea of choice and vouchers as a way to reform a "failing" education system. Romney stuck to his campaign platform that teacher unions aren't concerned about children and implied that he would "take them on" if elected. He continued to dismiss the idea that smaller class sizes matter and revealed he has no plan for early childhood education.

The contrast between the two candidates is clear. Now you can read for yourself that Obama wants a public education system for everyone with teachers and school employees respected as valuable resources. Romney considers education reform as a business proposition and is willing to turn education over to for-profit companies.