On education, GOP distances itself from Tea Party

The Republican National Committee’s platform on education contains a lot of tea party buzzwords: abstinence, English-first, homeschooling, vouchers, local control, the National Journal reports. But the document also shows signs that the GOP is willing to embrace some type of benchmarking (that is, regulation) for public schools. The platform talks about “accountability,” “higher expectations for all students,” and options for students in failing schools. It’s a far cry from eliminating the Education Department. Prominent education-reform advocates are hobnobbing in Tampa. They are the type of people who doggedly defend standards for student achievement and shun a hands-off approach. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Michelle Rhee, the former District of Columbia Public Schools chancellor, led a panel discussion on Tuesday at a screening of Won’t Back Down, a movie about two mothers who take on a failing inner-city public school. The event drew 1,000 delegates and guests. Rhee’s grassroots-education group, StudentsFirst, will also be screening the film in Charlotte next week at the Democratic National Convention…

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