Social Question

Dutchess_III's avatar

Is Mitt Romney just stupid?

Asked by Dutchess_III (43077points) May 26th, 2012

I saw this article; where Romney stated that the size of the classroom doesn’t matter. Basically he says the problem with our education system is that the teachers are incompetent.

I thought he was running for President! Why does he keep saying such alienating things to potential voters??

If I’d been in the room I’d have said, “Romney! We’re talking about classrooms, not your _____!”

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65 Answers

chyna's avatar

Yes, yes he is.

Response moderated (Flame-Bait)
Dutchess_III's avatar

Next thing he’ll say is people of any religion other than Mormonism are going to hell.

wundayatta's avatar

That was my neighborhood school where he said that. Do you think it was just being near me that made him lose hold of the few remaining bits of sense he had?

he claims his staff did an analysis showing class size doesn’t matter.

Aqua's avatar

@Dutchess_III: The truth is that Mormons believe almost everybody will go to heaven.

gailcalled's avatar

My ex- said correctly that A leaders hire an A team; B leaders hire C aides and advisors.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Interesting @gailcalled! Thank you @Aqua. I didn’t know that.

blueiiznh's avatar

Just checking, but I assume this is a rhetorical question.

just askin

Jeruba's avatar

Anyone who can’t manage his or her mouth should not be speaking as head of state to other heads of state.

Linda_Owl's avatar

Romney has no connection to reality at all. He grew up in an insulated world, well padded with money. He is also part of a religion that is so weird, that it has more in common with Scientology than it does to an actual religion (both of these “religions” were founded by con-men). Romney has no point of contact with the average American who is struggling to keep food on the table & a roof over their family’s head, & no understanding of how class size relates to teachers who are trying to educate students (after all, he attended private schools where he did not have to even think about the number of students who were in the class, but he did stop to bully what he thought was a gay student by cutting off his hair). He has no empathy / sympathy for the ordinary American.

cookieman's avatar

See the problem is that when Mitt first got into politics there was a typo on his application – “moron” not “mormon”.

Since then, he’s simply been too embarrassed to fix it.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@blueiiznh No. Not rhetorical. How can the man keep putting his foot in his mouth the way he does and continue to think he even has a chance at the presidency?

Charles's avatar

He’s only saying things like these so your typical American with his fifth grade education can understand it. Elections tilt on simple, easy to understand topics such as teachers, abortion, gay, birth certificates, religion, etc…in other words, issues that make up about 1% of the responsibility of the president. If the presidential election involved deeper issues – issues that might require a high school education, then it would be too confusing for most people.

Besides, the popular vote is just a bone the government tosses to the citizens to make them feel important, like their vote makes a difference.

lillycoyote's avatar

Maybe Romney should discuss this with his sons, or maybe just the teachers and administrators of the school his sons went to. All of five of Romney’s sons attended the Belmont School for Boys, where the average class size is 12 students. They seem to think class size matters and is something the school is very clear to point out in their “Curricular Vision” statement:

With class size averaging twelve students per section, a close interaction between student and teacher is a reality in virtually all courses.

While reducing class size is not a cure all, it can make a big difference.

Maybe the teachers at the Belmont School can educate him on this one.

gailcalled's avatar

@lillycoyote: It is officially called The Belmont Hill School. My ex- was the chairman of the history department there (well before I met him). Several of my nephews were also graduates. It is designed to send boys on to Harvard, Yale and Princeton (and their equivalents) and onto the seats of power and industry.

“This year, we will reach our Annual Fund goal of $2,900,000 through the extraordinary generosity of leadership gifts, as well as strong participation throughout the school community.”

Day school tuition is (brace yourself) $33.550.

As of Sept. 2010 the endowment is $60 million dollars. However, 30% of the boys do get a general financial aid package, thanks to the very deep pockets of the alumni.

Sidwell Friends is a nicer place because they admit girls and because they are owned and operated by Th Society of Friends aka The Quakers.

bkcunningham's avatar

@lillycoyote, or he could get the opinion of the the teachers at Sidwell Friends, the elite private school where the Obama girls go to classes. The student teacher ratio is:

PK K-2 3–4 5–6 7–8 9–12
11:1 12:1 12:1 16:1 12:1 13:1 (varies)

ratboy's avatar

No. Mitt Romney is not just stupid, he is also ill-informed, overbearing, and dishonest as well.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@bkcunningham Not sure what the point of your post is, but I have absolutely no problem with people sending their kids to “elite” private schools if they can afford it.

bkcunningham's avatar

I don’t either, @Dutchess_III. I was responding to @lillycoyote‘s post. Did you read it?

ETpro's avatar

I think part of the Mr. Etch-a-Sketch problem is that he seems to have very little in the way of core beliefs aside form “I want money.” and “I want power.” So he’s perfectly;y willing to say whatever he thinks at any given moment will get him those things. I don;t think he has the sort of steel clamp memory a liar needs to be a good liar.

He seems almost unaware that video exists or that other people have memories. When he said the other day, “I don’t recall what I said, but I stand by my statement” even though standing by the previous statement directly contradicted what he just said, I think he was actually not lying. When you honestly don’t know it’s a lie, then it isn’t a lie. At least that’s what the dictionary says.

@bkcunningham I have no problem with either Barack Obama or Mitt Romney sending their kids to elite private schools. I sent my kid to some pretty elite schools. My problem with Romney is that while he sees the value of small class sizes and high levels of teacher dedication for his ikids, he engages a think tank that is paid to “think” than 90 students to a class in public schools works just as well as 18 or 20. You can pay think tanks to crank out a report supporting whatever you wish. There are a few legitimate think tanks that start with the problem and employ some of the best and brightest minds in the nation to work toward a solution to it. But most so-called think tanks are little more than propaganda mills. They start with the solution they are paid to support, and try to create enough fear, uncertainty and doubt that people will somehow accept that since a bunch of elite PhDs said it, it must be true.

Think tanks full of elite PhDs have even been commissioned to dream up ways of demonizing people for being elite PhDs.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Yes @bkcunningham I read Lilly’s post. Still not understanding your point. Obama sends his kids to elite private schools. And…?

bkcunningham's avatar

@Dutchess_III, you are a school teacher right?

bkcunningham's avatar

Could you please explain to me, in simple terms, what @lillycoyote‘s post says?

JLeslie's avatar

It would be interesting to know what the research shows. I have read that class size matters in the first few years of school, but matters less as the child gets older. I don’t know what new research is out there though. I know a lot of teachers and parents think head start and getting to kids before kindergarten makes a big difference in learning, but studies have shown that by third grade the kids all level out, so early learning is kind of a waste of tax payer’s money for the average child. Homework is questionable also. There are studies that show during the first few years of school homework has zero affect on how well a student will do in terms of being regimented in doing homework in secondary school, their work ethic in school, or how well they do overall.

It seems logical to me that there is a point the teacher can no longer be one on one. Let’s say, and I am totally making this up, at 20 students, it doesn’t mater if there are 20 or 30, and then maybe above 30 it starts to matter again. That under 20 means a teacher will truly cater to an individual child, and then above that it becomes very difficult, so once it is difficult it does not matter much if there are a few more kids. But, maybe above 30 it gets unmanageable.

There are classrooms now that the children basically learn on their own, the teacher monitors each child’s progress, and then goes one on one with children who are having trouble with their coursework. So that teacher can handle more children.

So, who knows what Romney read or was thinking? Was it stupid to say what he did? Sure. Of course parents are going to freak out; Republicans and Democrats. It also offends teachers. I guess maybe there are some republicans out there who like how that sounds, because then fewer teachers, fewer tax dollars being paid into the public schools.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@bkcunningham In simple terms: Lilly pointed out that Romney sends his kids to elite private schools with an average ratio of 12 students to one teacher. You pointed out that Obama sends his children to elite private schools with an average ratio of 12 students to one teacher. When I had the opportunity I sent my oldest daughter to a private school with an average ratio of 12 students to one teacher. (Didn’t have the opportunity with my two youngest) So what am I missing?

@JLeslie It so depends on the classroom. If you have 30 kids and only one is disruptive and belligerent, then it’s manageable. If you have 30 kids, and three are disruptive and belligerent, then nobody learns nothin’.

lillycoyote's avatar

LOL. @Dutchess_III and @bkcunningham, @lillycoyote checking in here.

It was a knee jerk post! I admit it, but so was yours, @bkcunningham, my dear conservative friend, : ), as Obama has nothing to do with this really. I am just still kind raw from Santorum calling Obama a snob for calling Obama a snob for saying that everyone who wants to go to college should have the opportunity, when Santorum, his wife and some of his children, so far, are where they are, because they went college. :-) And, New Gingrich suggesting that students might benefit from working as janitors in their own public schools.

I had considered trying to dig myself out of this one, but opted for letting my, at least hoping that my post would, fade quietly into the mists of time. Apparently, seeing the chatter here, I will not be allowed to do that; or perhaps will simply not permit myself to do that.

Romney, his wife and his five children benefitted from educations that were at least, in part, of high quality because of small class size. He and his wife were able to provide, and pay for, a high quality of education for his own children.

I have absolutely no problem with private schools. I attended one, from Pre-K to 10th grade and then attended a public high school my junior and senior year. I have no problem with people choosing to send their children to private schools

However, in the interest of fairness, 1) Romney’s statements, as far as I can tell, were a little more nuanced and detailed than him merely saying that class size didn’t matter. Also people, and the media seem to be focusing on, singling out, his statements on class size to exclusion of other things he said regarding what things can influence the quality of education. 2) In the Department of Education’s “A Blue Print for Reform -The Reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act:, a product of the Obama administration, well, even it does not absolutely promote reduction of class size as essential to the agenda. It states:

Funds spent on strategies such as professional development and class size reduction must be aligned with evidence of improvements in student learning.

Not exactly a rallying cry for smaller class size and Obama isn’t getting any flack for that.

So, anyway, I’m done with this one. I’m going to head on over to Facebook and exchange Isley Brothers youtube videos with my cousin for a while. I think I will be less of a danger to myself or others there. :-)

lillycoyote's avatar

Damn, my post is so screwed up! Two “calling Obama a snob for“s and, not only should that have been “Blueprint” rather than “Blue Print,” I messed up my link to it. And there are probably other errors I have yet to catch. I really do need to move on from this one.

ETpro's avatar

I can give you a piece of anecdotal evidence about class size from my own experience. When I was just a few weeks into 6th grade, I came down with glandular fever (infectious mononucleosis or Epstein-Barr Virrus). While many kids get it and have no symptoms, I was the unlucky one that had what seemed like eternal flu. The doctor said I would need 6 weeks to 2 months to eventually get back to school. Fortunately, it happened that my 6th grade teacher lived right across the main road from us about halfway back a short dead end road. She agreed to drop by 2 to 3 days a week and spend 1.5 to 2 hours covering what the class of roughly 25 was studying. My parents, of course, paid her for the tutoring lest I have to repeat a full year of classwork. When I finally got well and went back to class 6 weeks later, I had done all the 6th grade work that they were going to do for the year and was well along in 7th grade course work. This was no special gifted teacher. She was the same teacher I had in regular class. But had I been siting there as one of 25 kids, I would have spent all day 5 days a week and gotten no further than the slowest kid in class.

JLeslie's avatar

@ETpro That is too extreme of an example. One on one vs. 25 students. No one is going to have one student per teacher in school.

Your example does support what home school parents say, if your doing three hours of homework with your children, you are home schooling them. Basically it supports the idea that there is a lot of wasted time and distractions in regular school.

@Dutchess_III I completely believe that. I think a few disruptive kids can make things very difficult.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@ETpro there is no doubt that homeschooling can get the“job” done in 1/8th the time. If the parent is a good teacher. Diseases we don’t even give a second thought to nowadays. My husband’s family got quarantined for two weeks due to scarlatina.

JLeslie's avatar

@Dutchess_III I brought up homeschooling by parents. @ETpro had a teacher come to his house.

ETpro's avatar

@Dutchess_III I think I was a childhood disease magnet. I had all the usual suspects. Thankfully, I managed to avoid Polio and the Salk Vaccine came along ending that threat. But I got Appendicitis, Chickenpox, Croup, Epstein-Barr Virus, Influenza, Measles, Mumps, Pneumonia, Rubella, Tonsillitis, and Whooping cough. My next door neighbor got Rheumatic Fever and it killed her in her mid 20s. Medical science has come a long way since that time.

JLeslie's avatar

@ETpro Your poor mother.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@JLeslie Well, homeschooling by parents and having a teacher come to your house is the me thing.

@ETpro It sure has…looooong ways. That’s why I don’t the germaphobe thing today. We had a helluva lot more to worry about in the 50’s and 60’s.

JLeslie's avatar

@Dutchess_III I don’t really think of it as the same. Doesn’t matter, I just thought you might have missed it was a teacher coming to @ETpro‘s home, but obviously you caught it.

ETpro's avatar

@Dutchess_III I did worry about polio. Two of my classmates got it. One ended up unable to breathe, living out his brief life in an iron lung. The other recovered, and in using his arms to support his weight on hand rails while he relearned walking, he developed great upper body strength and eventually strong legs to match. He went on to be a star football player for our high school team.

Doctanian's avatar

Not stupid, just selfish.

rooeytoo's avatar

It’s his magic underwear that freaks me out. Why would any god be interested in what kind of underwear you wear. Or go so far as to design the kind you should wear in order to be saved??? Even the nuns didn’t care what kind you wore, as long as it was clean! (not for any religious reason but rather in case you were in a car accident) And do I want someone who buys into that sort of god, running the whole country and speaking for me as an American?

bkcunningham's avatar

So much for that low class size private education, @lillycoyote. You know I’m kidding and I love you friend.

JLeslie's avatar

Everyone mentioning Romney’s religion, in my opinion Romney does not wear his religion on his sleeve. He doesn’t talk about it, he has in the past been able to separate his religion from politics and legislation. He doesn’t just follow the church with some sort of blind faith leading him to want to turn America into a Mormon state. Some Evangelical Christian talking heads in the media keep saying Romney should talk about his religion, acceptance of Jesus, etc, and I think they are nuts. Not because he is a Mormon, because only in the bible belt does that crap fly with politicians and the people. I don’t care what crazy thing we can pick out from his religion, I just care that he is not a fanatic, not hateful, and has a brain in his head. Now, it does seem in the last few years he has moved very far right, against gay marriage, pro-life, etc., but I don’t really care if it is because of his religion or not, I just care where he stands on the issues in terms of wanting to change laws. All the Mormons I know are wonderful, some of the nicest people I know. Are some of them extreme? Sure. Same with Jews, Muslims and Chrisians. I don’t see how the Mormons are much different.

I wish we didn’t know or care about a politicians religion or religious beliefs.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, I didn’t know he was a Mormon, so obviously he doesn’t wear it on his sleeve the way Sanitarium did.

@JLeslie What I meant by homeschooling and a teacher coming to the house is the “same thing” is that when you’re one on one you get things done MUCH quicker than you do in a class of 20 or 30.

JLeslie's avatar

@Dutchess_III I understand, and I agree.

rooeytoo's avatar

Extremists make me nervous and any religion that tells you what kind of underwear to wear is extreme. And anyone who buys into that kind of hokus pokus makes me wonder about their reasoning power. Best thing about mormons was (maybe still is but I doubt it) when I was a kid going to school in DC, you could go into any Hot Shoppe (owned by j w marriott another magic underwear guy) and tell the waitress you were a down and out mornon and they would give you a free meal. Every college kid in dc converted a couple of times a week. Bet these days you would have to show your membership card.

I personally want to know as much as I possibly can about all aspects of the life of a guy that wants to run the USA. I want to know who his friends are because they are going to have influence on him. I want to see how his family acts, gives you an idea of what goes on behind closed doors. I want to know this in addition to the usual political posturing. If you want the job, your life becomes an open book and so it should. And I feel it tells you more than the political rhetoric they ALL read off their speech cheat sheets.

lillycoyote's avatar

@bkcunningham LOL. Obviously, smaller class size and even private school vouchers aren’t going to help everyone. Some of us are just hopeless. :-)

bkcunningham's avatar

Yes, @lillycoyote, we are. I hope you are having a nice Memorial Day weekend.

JLeslie's avatar

@rooeytoo All I am saying is just because there are some crazy extreme things in a religion, doesn’t mean the people who are that religion are doing all of them or agree with them. A virgin birth is pretty way out. There is lots of magic in most religions that believe in God.

JW Marriott, Jr. spoke at my high school graduation.

rooeytoo's avatar

@JLeslie – there are photos of mitt in his magic underwear, so I am assuming he buys into it. And it makes me question his ability to make logical decisions. Along with many other of his statements on assorted subjects. But Obama is no hero of mine either. It just amazes me, and the same is true in Australia, that with so many people in a country, they can’t come up with a couple of better choices, it always seems to be choosing between the lesser of two evils.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Obama’s a good choice in my book. He doesn’t have magic underwear. He doesn’t need it, I’m sure.

wundayatta's avatar

The reality is we don’t have money to pay for decent schools in my town. I’m not sure what kind of education my daughter is getting, but she spent 9 years in a school with small class size, and now she is in a high school with big classes—30 plus. It’s an inner city school, too. She may not be getting the best education in some ways, but she is learning about real life, I suspect, and she seems to be holding up very well.

She’ll go to a small liberal arts college, and probably to graduate school, but I think she’ll have some understanding of social issues that she could never otherwise get. She’s living it, not book learning it. It’s a risk, I know. But I think she’s up to the challenge. She doesn’t have to be sheltered. She’s prepared. And she will be prepared for college, too, I think.

augustlan's avatar

@rooeytoo Are there actually pics of Romney in his magic underwear? I totally want to see that.

JLeslie's avatar

@rooeytoo I have never scene a photo of him in the underwear. I have seen a photo of him holding up underwear, I assume it is a real photo, and I assume it is supposedly approved underwear by the religion, but the underwear I have scene previously to describe proper undergarments for the temple did not look the same. Many religions have garments associated with the religion. Maybe they went with underwear so people would not be able to identify the person as Mormon at a glance. Not all Mormons wear them, just like some Mormons drink caffeine. I don’t know if Romney wears them or not, has he ever actually said he does? I don’t think Mormons think they are magical, isn’t that a word other people outside the church use as derogatory?

I guess Romney has me duped on the religion thing, I never get the impression he is trying to prosthelytize to the American public. I never think of him as being a magical thinker, any more than other religious people think prayer is really heard by God. I think he would support science. I like that he is a religious minority, because I think he is more likely to get what it is like to be one in the US, and how important it is to separate church and state, and not have a government telling us what religion or prayers should be said. It isn’t going to be Mormon prayers in public schools around the nation if we but prayer into schools. Do I think some of his politics revolve around his faith and beliefs? Probably to some extent, like many other politcians.

He does believe evolution is likely to be a valid theory, he was against Intelligent Design being taught in school. This puts him ahead of a lot of our politicians. In my opinion he just does not play to the camera well, and does not connect with people who are far outside of his circles. Bull Clinton was great at this, connecting, but he grew up very modestly, with an alcoholic step-father in the south, and then went to college in England and the Northeast. So he had the experience of knowing and connecting with people from different walks of life from different parts of the country. He understand their language, can speak it, and understands how they think.

I probably won’t vote for him for several reasons: gay marriage, his change on abortion, and his ideas on taxation, but I am willing to listen to what he has to say when the debates come up.

rooeytoo's avatar

I just googled and came up with this.

My point is I don’t care what it looks like, it worries me that an intelligent (?) adult believes in a faith that dictates what kind of underpants you wear! What other sorts of weird secret beliefs does he have that the rest of us non mormons don’t know about and how will it influence his decisions if he should become president. We are, after all, the sum of our experiences and beliefs

JLeslie's avatar

@rooeytoo I don’t see the photo on the link, it might be because I am using an iPad? It’s actually him in his underwear? And, this doesn’t seem to be a secret belief. I am not saying I don’t think it is a little bazaar, but I think the garments are promoted as showing commitment to the religion, their faith, and God. Not much different than Jews wearing a Yamulke is it? Or, that a cross will ward off evil? Marie Osmond is a famous Mormon and I doubt she has on Mormon underwear under all her costumes. I just doubt he thinks the underwear is magical even if he does wear it.

By the way I think the church’s biggest motivation to sell the underwear is to make money. I once read Mormons can’t buy the underwear unless they are all paid up in the tithing that is required. Plus, add on the price of the garments. I have no idea if that is true.

blueiiznh's avatar

@Dutchess_III. I completely agree. I moved from MA to NH partly because of Massachusetts politics and politicians.

bkcunningham's avatar

I’m curious how the tides would turn if the discussion were about Obama’s religious beliefs, his church and church leader?

JLeslie's avatar

@bkcunningham I have always said that I think Obama probably isn’t very religious. I think he identifies as a Christian, cares about traditions like baptising his kids and marrying in the church. Celebrates holidays. But, I don’t think he would follow the church on something if it didn’t make sense to his own mind. I am not sure if he really believes in God or not, he seems to. I don’t judge his religious beliefs based on one nut job in his church.

bkcunningham's avatar

One nut job in his church?

JLeslie's avatar

@bkcunningham I was talking about the Jeremiah Wright guy. Plus, I am defending Romney and Obama in the same way. I don’t change my tune based on political affiliation.

bkcunningham's avatar

I realize you are defending them both equally. My post wasn’t directed at you. But I’d like to point out that “Jeremiah Wright guy” was the pastor of the church the Obama family attended for more than 20 years. He is now pastor emeritus of the church. He is married the POTUS and first lady and baptized their two daughters and is the man Obama credits with bringing him to God. He prayed with Obama before he launched his bid to become POTUS. Obama’s book, The Audacity of Hope came from a sermon Wright preached called The Audacity to Hope…

JLeslie's avatar

@bkcunningham I just care about the man I believe Obama to be. He is pro choice, pro gays in the military, now pro gay marriage. Most very religious Christians aren’t, so I figure he is not really following any Christian preacher blindly. Rev. Wright probably had some good things to say about faith, God and life, and the other crap, which was a nightmare, is obviously not what Obama was talking about in his book. The church he attended seemed to be a good place to network with people in the Chicago area, so probably part of Obama’s attendance was for social and political/business reasons.

Anyway, I’m curious too, let’s see what other people say to your question.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@rooeytoo I must be blind. I don’t see any underwear in either of those pics in the link you posted.

@bkcunningham I don’t know Obama’s pastor personally, don’t know what his average sermon is like, but I think he foolishly thought he had the chance to push some stupid agenda just because a black member of his church became the president. He has since been corrected.

I had a pastor once who was vaguely racist. I didn’t like it, but I did like many other things about him. His racism certainly didn’t change my points of view. I believe Obama, first and foremost, thinks for himself. His pastor probably said a LOT of things Obama didn’t take to heart. The guy just went off the deep end, publicly, after Obama was elected. I think that if Obama had an inkling that he was going to do something like that, he would have flagged him off way earlier. I also think that if that was the kind of message he usually preached, Obama would have found a different church.

bkcunningham's avatar

Wright didn’t change after Obama was elected to POTUS. He was preaching the same type of beliefs before as he was after the election.

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