I Don't Even Know What He's Talking About Anymore

image of Mitt Romney making a goofy expression, to which I've added text reading: 'Oh, you're a plumber? What on EARTH is that?'

Mitt Romney opened his mouth today, and thus I have something to report about something stupid that Mitt Romney said. Heads-up, teachers!
Mitt Romney joked Tuesday about being "terribly partisan" during a question and answer session devoted to the subject of education.

Romney said as president, he wouldn't prevent teachers from going on strike, as they recently did in Chicago. But the GOP presidential nominee said he thought the influence of teachers' unions on the Democratic Party was bad for policy.

"I don't mean to be terribly partisan, but I kind of am," Romney said, according to written pool reports.
Ha ha hang on—I haven't even gotten to the gold star stupidity yet! I just wanted to throw that in as an amuse-bouche.
[Romney said] in the education forum that neither class size nor the money spent per student was the deciding factor in a good education.

"It was the quality of teachers," Romney said.
Cool! Cool theory. So, basically, if you're a public school teacher for a district that spends a below-average amount per student and puts 40 kids to a classroom, and you fail to give each and every one of those kids a quality education with sub-par resources and virtually no individual attention, it's because YOU ARE A TERRIBLE TEACHER.

Look, I'm not a public school teacher, and the only contact I've had with public school teachers is being taught in public schools for thirteen years; my parents, who are both retired public school teachers; most of their friends, who are/were public school teachers; my godfather, who is a retired public school teacher; my oldest friend who I have known since I was five years old and is a public school teacher; my two oldest girlfriends, who are public school teachers; and my first writing mentor, who is a retired public school teacher, none of whom ever share stories about being a teacher (ahem), so please bear my total lack of perspective in mind when I say: MITT ROMNEY SHUT THE FUCK UP.

All those teachers on that list? They don't agree about what it takes to make public education a success. They don't all share the same politics. They don't even agree on the value and priorities of teachers' unions. But I'm pretty fucking sure that they all agree it is some rank bullshit to assert that class size and funding are not "deciding factors" in whether students get a good education—because even the best teacher on the entire planet can only be the best teacher with a finite number of students and sufficient resources.

The best teacher on the entire planet can be overwhelmed.

I guess Mitt Romney rejects that idea. Oh, speaking of rejecting ideas...
In the session, sponsored by NBC, Romney was asked if all children in America should be afforded the type of education Romney himself received at Cranbrook, the private prep school in Michigan.

The candidate said tuition figures don't always equate with the quality of education.

"I reject the idea that everybody has to have, if you will, a Harvard-expense level degree to be successful," Romney said.
Sure. I reject that idea, too. We all reject the notion that it should cost exorbitant amounts of money to access a quality education. But that means robustly funding public education! Not just talking total shite about how all that matters is hiring good teachers.

(Which, by the way, is an increasingly difficult task when you don't pay intelligent and talented people competitive salaries.)

And here's one other thing about Romney "rejecting" the idea that one doesn't have to pay for Harvard to be successful: He's casually eliding the reality that being able to present to a potential employer, or investor, a piece of paper saying HARVARD on it means something very different than a piece of paper on which one has written: "I read all the books on my own. All of them. I am smart as hell, even though I don't have an Ivy League institution, or any institution at all, certifying that fact. Please hire me, anyway."

Romney is so devastatingly privileged he can't even imagine what life is like for someone who lacks access even to the shitty versions of his opportunities.

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