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Why I'm Following Romney's Campaign Through Art, and Giving Away My Undecided Vote

Artist Casey Jex Smith, an undecided voter, will stage a performative battle and give his swing state Ohio vote to the challenge winner.

Tonight, at Allegra LaViola Gallery, is the opening of my exhibition “Fiend in the Void,” which focuses on religion, politics, and the upcoming election. As an undecided voter, I will stage a performative battle that will give my swing state Ohio vote to the challenge winner.

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Where Does Mitt Romney Really Stand on Standardized Testing?

Romney doesn't know of a better way to evaluate students than high stakes tests.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HtsV20WLEuA
You'd expect the man who could very well be the next leader of the free world, Governor Mitt Romney, to have a solid answer to a question about the trend of high-stakes testing. It costs school districts billions of dollars, and results in teaching to the test and the killing of creativity. Unfortunately, at the recent Education Nation summit when I asked Romney about how he’d change the way testing is used in our schools, he didn't come close to meeting that expectation.

As you can see in the video above, Romney told me that in my life I would find that there are many tests. I would have loved to fire back with, “Mr. Romney, how many high stakes tests have you taken since you graduated from Harvard Business School?” Most likely none.

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Is Admitting You'll Cut Education the New Political Kiss of Death?

Mitt Romney's claims that he won't cut education are already coming back to haunt him.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4SHm17h5R_k
Ever since President George H. W. Bush made his "Read my lips: No new taxes" promise at the 1988 Republican National Convention, only to raise taxes once elected and get subsequently booted out of office by Bill Clinton, it's been conventional wisdom that if a political candidate admits he plans to raise taxes on middle class Americans, he might as well forget about winning. With communities reeling from years of education cuts, could saying you're going to slash funding to public schools be becoming the modern "no new taxes" death wish?

If a new television advertisement running in swing states from Priorities USA Action, a pro-Obama Political Action Committee is any indication, the answer might be "yes." The ad hammers Mitt Romney on statements and policy proposals he or running mate Paul Ryan have made that indicate they would cut early childhood education, money for K-12 schools, and cut college aid—all of which directly contradicts Romney's claim in the first Presidential debate that "I'm not going to cut education funding. I don't have any plan to cut education funding and—and grants that go to people going to college... I'm not planning on making changes there."

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Romney's Solution for College Costs? Just Borrow from Your Parents

If the Romney-Ryan budget takes effect, you can forget about Pell grants as well.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L8L-2_DvFtY

It's the time of year when students and stressed out parents are scrambling to make sure they have enough money to pay those college bills. Which presidential candidate will help ease that burden? According to President Obama's latest campaign ad, which is set to air in Colorado, Iowa, Nevada, Ohio, and Virginia, if you're looking for a president who wants to make sure college is affordable for as many students as possible, Mitt Romney isn't your guy.

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Can Putting 857 Desks on the National Mall Get Education on the Election Agenda?

The installation by the "Don't Forget About Ed!" campaign urges President Obama and Mitt Romney to get serious about education.


Can lining 857 student desks up on the National Mall in Washington D.C. get our presidential candidates to make education central to their campaigns? That was the goal of an attention-getting art installation put in place on Tuesday and Wednesday this week by the College Board as part of the kickoff of their nonpartisan "Don't Forget Ed!" campaign. According to their calculations, the desks represent the number of students who drop out of school every hour of every school day.

Despite the large numbers of dropouts, "every four years, the issue of education is shockingly underplayed on the campaign trail," says College Board president Gaston Caperton. Indeed, while there's certainly been plenty of political theater over student loan interest rates, when it comes to really addressing education, this election season is playing out pretty much like every other—candidates speak in broad terms about the issue. The irony is, given all the focus on fixing the economy, it makes sense for the candidates to place education front and center.

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How Obama Plans to Solve Unfair Taxes—and Electoral Distress

Why does Obama want you thinking about taxes in an election year? Hint: A tough economy and Mitt Romney's enormous personal wealth.


Washington has never enjoyed a reputation for its taste in décor, but the room the White House chose this week for a briefing on economic policy displayed a strong, if unrefined, palate for political messaging.

Poster-size photos of President Obama studiously examining a car on the factory floor and glad-handing with hard hat-wearing workers festooned the walls. The message of the day was clear before anyone opened their mouths: This guy sure does love those regular folks and their American dreams. Not even the crown molding or fussy drapes could distract from the Springsteen-ness of it all.

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