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ESSA. Congress. State chiefs. School spending. Elections. Education Week reporters keep watch on education policy and politics in the nation’s capital and in the states.

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Santorum Suspends Campaign; Will Romney Start Talking K-12?

By Alyson Klein — April 10, 2012 1 min read

You political junkies probably know by now that former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., has suspended his Republican presidential campaign. His daughter is gravely ill, and the delegate math just doesn’t add up for him, so this must seem like a good time to bow out.

Santorum gave us the biggest moment on education so far in the presidential campaign, when he called President Barack Obama a “snob” for pushing policies aimed to ensure every student is prepared for college.

He’s also a former fan of the No Child Left Behind Act who now has big qualms about the law, and he took some flak on the campaign trail for that previous support.

And if he had been the GOP’s nominee, we probably would have gotten to relive Charter-Schoolgate. We also might have gotten to hear more debate about the teaching of evolution. When Congress authorized the NCLB law, Santorum pushed language that would have encouraged schools to discuss the controversy over the teaching of evolution.

Santorum, whose own children attended a cyber-charter school at one time, managed to help mobilize homeschoolers, a small but crucial group of foot soldiers in GOP primaries.

It’s an open question whether former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who is now more or less the Republican nominee, will use education as an issue to appeal to the conservative base that he’s been struggling to connect with—or as an opportunity to appeal to middle-of-the-road voters, or a combination of the two.

And what will he say to distinguish himself from President Barack Obama, who has already embraced merit pay, rigorous standards, and charter schools? Stay tuned!

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