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A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Spinning Gov. Chris Christie’s Greatest Hits

Spinning Gov. Chris Christie’s Greatest Hits

A TV ad in support of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie supplies some misleading information about the governor’s record. The ad praises Christie and unnamed “reformers from both sides” for:

“Creating jobs.” But the state has added only 37,100 jobs since he took office in January 2010. New Jersey and national unemployment rates were identical (9.7 percent) when Christie became governor. The state’s unemployment rate is now 9.1 percent — a full percentage point higher than the national average and fifth highest among all states.

College Kills Faith?

College Kills Faith?

Rick Santorum is off base when he criticizes college as a place where young people lose their “faith commitment.” In fact, the percentage of those with weakened religious affiliations is higher for those who don’t go to college.
Santorum also twists Obama’s words when he accuses him of snobbery for pushing a college education. In fact, the president also urged vocational training.
On Feb. 26, ABC’s “This Week” host George Stephanopoulos asked Santorum why he called President Obama “a snob”

Santorum Exaggerates Dropout Rate

Santorum Exaggerates Dropout Rate

Rick Santorum incorrectly claimed that “one of three children drop out of school” in the United States. The 2009 dropout rate was 8.1 percent — slightly higher than it was in 2008, but down significantly from the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s and even early 2000s, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
It’s true that a higher percentage of students in the U.S. fail to graduate on time — about 23 percent in the 2009-10 school year.

White House Displays ‘Washington Monument Syndrome’

White House Displays ‘Washington Monument Syndrome’

The White House misleadingly suggests that the Republicans’ plan to pay for a payroll tax cut would result in “forcing cuts to things like education and medical research.” The bill passed by House Republicans mentions no such cuts. And while the bill may or may not require cuts to discretionary spending, there’s no reason those cuts would have to come from popular programs like education or medical research.
The White House’s nearly six-minute “white board” video,

Flipping Through DNC Playbook on Romney

Flipping Through DNC Playbook on Romney

The Democratic National Committee casts Mitt Romney as an untrustworthy flip-flopper in a lengthy Web video, but pads a long list of examples with some falsehoods and distortions. It’s true that Romney has changed or modified his position on some major issues — including abortion, a federal assault weapons ban and Reaganomics, as the DNC says. But the video strains the truth …

Fanciful ‘Facts’ At Fox News Debate

Fanciful ‘Facts’ At Fox News Debate

Nine Republican presidential candidates debated for two hours in Orlando, Fla., and they served up more exaggerations and falsehoods — about Obama, each other, and even Thomas Jefferson. Perry claimed Romney supports Obama’s Race to the Top education initiative. In fact …

Teachers Paid ‘On Par with Doctors’?

President Obama falsely claimed teachers are paid "on par" with doctors in “most countries" with high test scores. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development has data that allowed us to compare 16 member countries in all three categories: student test scores, teachers' pay and general practitioners' pay. None of the 16 countries paid teachers more than doctors, and 10 had higher test scores than the U.S. in one or more subject areas.
As part of that same claim,

False Claim on Pell Grants in Indiana

A Democratic incumbent in Indiana falsely claims his Republican challenger wants to abolish the popular federal Pell Grant program for needy college students. Rep. Joe Donnelly, who is running for reelection in Indiana’s 2nd District, based his charge on a questionnaire Republican Jackie Walorski submitted to a conservative group. But that questionnaire doesn’t even mention the Pell Grant program. 

 
The ad, titled “College,” first aired Sept. 9. It begins ominously: “Who will help your family afford college?”

School Photo

Here at FactCheck.org, we’ve seen our share of fake photos of President Obama. So we were suspicious when a reader e-mailed us a silly-looking photo of the president speaking in a grade-school classroom with teleprompter, podium and presidential seal. The photo is so silly, in fact, that it was the butt of a late-night comedian’s ridicule. But this picture is real.
The White House video of this event prompted Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart to ask incredulously,

Obama’s Speech to Schools

Q: Did Obama change his back-to-school speech in response to pressure from conservatives?

A: One exercise in the accompanying lesson plan was reworded.