The New York Times reports today that Senator John McCain is set to meet with three contenders for the VP slot on his ticket: former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney; Florida Governor Charlie Crist, and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal.
It stands to reason that the vice president in a potential McCain administration would be handed a major role on education policy; after all, McCain himself hasn't shown much interest in the issue in his career or campaign, though that's starting to change a bit. (His education secretary would also have a lot of leeway, or so I argued here.)
So how do these three stack up on the edu-front? Mitt Romney hails from the state with the highest test scores in the country; though he didn't spark the "Massachusetts Miracle," he didn't mess it up, either. And unlike McCain, he did talk a lot about education on the campaign trail, generally in a smart, data-savvy sort of way. It's easy to imagine a Vice President Romney kick-starting Vice President Al Gore's old "reinventing government" work--and applying it thoughtfully to education.
Charlie Crist is another story. He inherited perhaps the fastest-improving state education system in the country; Florida's recent progress for poor and Hispanic children is monumental. But rather than defend the hard-fought gains of his predecessor, Jeb Bush, he seems intent on retreating. He cleared most of Bush's top education advisors out of Tallahassee and has shown an...