Presidential Candidates Address Education During Final Debate

As presidential debate moderator Bob Schieffer put it last night, "I think we all love teachers."

Yes Bob. Yes we do.

Last night President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney finally addressed the issue of education in the third and final presidential debate.

Of course, it was a bit random, considering the focus of this final debate was supposed to be on foreign policy.

But, better late than never, right?

Here is a short breakdown of "he said, he said" in regards to what each candidate had to say about education policy last night.

President Obama:

"Let's take an example that we know is going to make a difference 21st century, and that's our education policy. We didn't have a lot of chance to talk about this in the last debate. You know, under my leadership, what we've done is reformed education, working with governors, 46 states. We've seen progress and gains in schools that were having a terrible time, and they're starting to finally make progress. And what I now want to do is to hire more teachers, especially in math and science, because we know that we've fallen behind when it comes to math and science. And those teachers can make a difference."

"If we don't have the best education system if the world, if we don't continue to put money into research and technology that will allow us to create great businesses here in the United States, that's how we lose the competition [...] And unfortunately Gov. Romney's budget and his proposals would not allow us to make those investments."

"But more importantly, it is true that in order for us to be competitive, we're going to have to make some smart choices right now. Cutting our education budget -- that's not a smart choice. That will not help us compete with China. Cutting our investments in research and technology -- that's not a smart choice. That will not help us compete with China."

Governor Romney:

"It's just a tragedy in a nation so prosperous as ours, that these last four years have been so hard [...] And that's why it's so critical that we make America once again the most attractive place in the world to start businesses, to build jobs, to grow the economy. And that's not going to happen by just hiring teachers."

"I love teachers. And I'm happy to have states and communities that want to hire teachers do that. By the way, I don't like to have the federal government start pushing its weight deeper and deeper into the schools. Let the states and localities do that. I was a governor -- the federal government didn't hire our teachers. I want to get our private sector growing, and I know how to do it."

"I'm so proud of the state that I had the chance to be governor of. We have, every two years, tests that look at how well our kids are doing. Fourth graders and eighth graders are tested in English and math. While I was governor, I was proud that our fourth graders came out number one of all 50 states in English and then also in math, and our eighth graders number one in English and also in math -- first time one state had been number one in all four measures. How did we do that? Well, Republicans and Democrats came together on a bipartisan basis to put in place education that focused on having great teachers in the classroom."

If you're looking for more in-depth analysis of education and the presidential debates, check out some of the below links:

The Huffington Post

The Hill

Slate

For a full transcript of last night's debate, click here.**

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