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GOP Contenders Grade Education

Reut Cohen |
September 22, 2011 | 7:35 p.m. PDT

Executive Producer

(Seal of the Department of Education)
(Seal of the Department of Education)
Education is not a primary concern in this election cycle, but most GOP contenders would give the Department of Education a failing grade if the Fox News/Google debate Thursday night was any indication.

Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson received a strong applause when he called for abolishing the Department of Education.

Texas Rep. Ron Paul called for the right to "opt out" of public education and for parents to receive certain credits. Paul argued that No Child Left Behind should not be enforced and that it is a policy “no one likes."

Texas Gov. Rick Perry said he supports school choices, which include charter institutions. Perry criticized former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, stating that Romney supports President Obama’s "Race to the Top plan."

"I'm not sure exactly what he's saying," said Romney in response. "I don't support any particular program." Romney, however, said that he believes Arne Duncan, the secretary of the Department of Education, is doing a decent job.

Throughout the evening debate Thursday evening Romney and Perry, both considered to be GOP frontrunners, have sparred over issues that include Romney’s economic and healthcare programs in Massachusetts.

"I think Americans sometimes don't know which Mitt Romney they're dealing with," said Perry, who compared Romney's healthcare plan in Massachusetts to "Obamacare."


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