What a difference a decade makes. For all the debate around vouchers and student loans, perhaps the most striking element of Mitt Romney’s education agenda is how much it differs from the approach of No Child Left Behind, the defining policy of the George W. Bush years. That does not mean, however, that other Republicans necessarily agree with it. The GOP stance on education, and particularly federal education policy, is clearly shifting. But in any clear direction? And for the better?

To examine those questions, the Fordham Institute brought together two former GOP education secretaries to discuss the Republican Party’s direction on this vital issue.

Lamar Alexander

Lamar Alexander, U.S. senator, former governor of Tennessee and former secretary of education

Margaret SpellingsMargaret Spellings, former secretary of education, president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's U.S. Forum for Policy Innovation, and president and CEO of Margaret Spellings & Company

Chester E. Finn, Jr., president of The Thomas B. Fordham Institute