Newspaper endorsements have been rolling in over the last few weeks, for both President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, the GOP presidential nominee. And K-12 policy and spending—particularly the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which provided $100 billion for education—have figured into a number of recommendations from major national newspapers and papers in swing states.
In the pro-Obama camp is the Denver Post which recommended that its readers support Obama in part because of his record on K-12 education redesign. “Obama has moved the country in the right direction on school reform,” the paper wrote. “On higher education, he has taken steps to address affordability through increasing Pell Grants and streamlining the student-loan process.”
In its endorsement, the Miami Herald praised the president’s support for the DREAM Act, which would give undocumented immigrants who came to the country as children a path to citizenship, if they pursue higher education or serve in the military. In North Carolina, the Charlotte Observer lauded the stimulus saying that “many economists” feel it helped “pull the country back from depression.”
In Ohio, the Akron Beacon Journal gave Obama high marks in its for changes to the student loan program and the Race to the Top competition, which it said has been “applauded by Republicans and Democrats.” The Toledo Blade also praised Race to the Top in its endorsement. (It’s worth noting that Ohio was among the dozen winners of the state-level competition.)
And the Washington Post, which is read by many people in the critical battleground of Virginia, said Obama “peppered his Cabinet with leaders of substance"—naming just two cabinet secretaries, Hillary Clinton at the State Department and Arne Duncan at the Department of Education.
But a number of papers have attacked Obama’s education and spending record. The Las Vegas Review-Journal chided Obama for “pushing more young people to seek a debt-funded college education when they have little hope of landing a job upon graduation.” The Richmond Times-Dispatch slammed Obama’s plans to pay for education by raising taxes on high-income earners as unworkable. And, in selecting Romney, the Columbus Dispatch called the stimulus “deficit-driving.”
Other papers that choose Romney have praised parts of Obama’s record that deal with K-12. The Des Moines Register wrote that Romney would do a better job of fixing the nation’s sluggish economy, but gave the stimulus high marks for keeping “millions” of teachers on the job.
(And in case you’re curious about who got Education Week‘s endorsement? The answer is no one. Our paper doesn’t weigh in on presidential contests or any other elections—not this year, not any year.)