Mitt Romney listens to a question from a member of the audience. (Mario Tama / Getty Images )
Mitt Romney, in an extended response to a question about assault weapons during his debate with President Obama, said, “We were able to drive our schools to be No. 1 in the nation.” As in the past, the former Massachusetts governor took credit for education achievement in the state.
Student achievement is arguably tops in the nation in Massachusetts based on the National Assessment of Educational Progress, a test given to a sample of students nationwide.
Massachusetts also has been praised for its rigorous academic standards.
The state has the advantage of higher funding than many states and, compared with California, for example, has a less challenging student population in terms of family income, parent education levels and native English speakers.
Education initiatives in Massachusetts began well before Romney became governor, and he did not derail that progress or reduce the state’s comparatively generous tax support of schools or take on the strong teacher unions in the state.
Massachusetts’ solid reputation in education was in place before, during and after Romney’s term.
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