A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Sequester Spin

The Sunday talk shows included exaggerated claims from both sides about the debate over automatic spending cuts scheduled to take effect March 1:

Education Secretary Arne Duncan said “as many as 40,000 teachers could lose their jobs.” But that assumes the entire $2.8 billion in looming DOE cuts would come from teacher salaries. Duncan himself testified there would be cuts elsewhere — including cutting “more than 70,000 students from grant and work study programs”

Inflated Claims in North Carolina Budget Battle

A conservative group omits some important details in a TV ad attacking North Carolina’s lame-duck Democratic governor and praising the Republican-controlled state General Assembly during a partisan budget battle.

The ad says the legislature added state funding for “2,000 more teachers” and that its budget “adds teachers.” But the legislature’s increased funding didn’t make up for the loss of federal money and discretionary state funds that local districts use to hire teachers. The state had a net loss of about 900 teachers overall.

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,

Education Spin

Last year, the president touted U.S. gains in education, saying that our “fourth- and eighth-graders achieved the highest math scores on record.” He bragged that “African-American and Hispanic students posted all-time highs.” Last week, the president said those eighth-graders weren’t so great at math after all …