Struggling Charter School Touted on Romney’s Education Tour

Photograph by Mario Tama/Getty Images

Mitt Romney in a 6th grade language class at Universal Bluford Charter School on May 24, 2012 in Philadelphia.

A day after Mitt Romney unveiled his first education policies, the presumptive Republican nominee visited students at a West Philadelphia charter school to illustrate how his plans to promote such schools would improve education.

The only problem: their report card.

Universal Bluford Charter School, a majority African-American elementary school in a heavily Democratic neighborhood, was put on “warning” status after failing to meet state and federal measures in reading and math for last year.

According to data collected by the state of Pennsylvania, 27 percent of the students were considered proficient in math and 22 percent in reading.

That’s well below the goals set by the state for 2011, which aimed to have 67 percent of its students proficient in math and 72 percent in reading. This year, those goals will increase to 78 percent in math and 81 percent in reading.

Yesterday, Romney said he would go well beyond Obama’s attempts to promote charter schools and encourage giving parents a choice of which schools their children attend. He assailed the Obama administration for backing away from a federally-funded voucher program that allows school children in Washington, D.C., to attend private schools.

Romney’s proposals would create a voucher-like system to provide federal funding so low-income and disabled students can attend charter schools, private institutions and public schools outside their districts.


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