When Mitt Romney went to a charter school in Philadelphia today, it's safe to say he didn't get the reception he hoped for.
Counter to all logic and evidence Romney claimed in his book No Apology that larger class sizes will improve education.
In The United States, then, the effort to reduce classroom size may actually hurt education more than it helps. [page 216]
However, the Philadelphia teachers in attendance today offered him a reality check, questioning how exactly he could believe that to be the truth. Media coverage of his event centered on this exchange: MSNBC, WBOB Philadelphia, ABC, The Hill, AP, LA Times, Politico, CNN, CBS
Transcript follows the jump.
TRANSCRIPT OF EXCHANGE:
MR. MORRIS: I would like to bring up two concerns, in terms of the way you opened your introduction. These are things that I think about as a teacher in the classroom all the time, like one is class size, and the other is testing. I think, kind of like when I was driving to school today, I heard your position on class size and testing, and apparently it's a platform, and education is a topic right now. You know, I can't think of any teacher in the whole time I've been teaching, over ten years, thirteen years, who would say that they would love - more students would benefit them.
ROMNEY: Right, right, of course.
MR. MORRIS: I can't think of a parent that would say, "I would like my teacher to be in a room with a lot of kids and only one teacher." So, I'm kind of wondering where this research comes from, it's like, and another thing, researchers, you're looking at the test scores. You're saying big class sizes doesn't affect the test scores.
It concerns me, the testing, and it concerns me, you know, the class size. I can't think of any teacher - Mr. Bennett, would you want more kids in your classroom?
BENNETT: No, it's large enough. It's actually too large.
ROMNEY: How many students do you have?
BENNETT: It varies between classes, but anywhere from 23 to 28, somewhere in there. You can give more of a personalized - more personalized attention to each student if you have a smaller class size. I would have to agree with Mr. Morris, and I teach technology over here.