STEVE PEOPLES, Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Mitt Romney is facing tough questions about how his education proposals would affect black communities.

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The Republican presidential candidate visited a West Philadelphia charter school on Thursday, a day after declaring education is the “civil rights issue of our era.”

Romney repeated that declaration during the school visit, but struggled to defend his view that class sizes aren’t a major factor in educational success. Local African-American leaders also said his push for more two-parent families isn’t realistic in their community.

The charter school’s founder also said he’s not sure whether Romney understands the needs of the African-American community.

A recent poll found that 90 percent of blacks would vote for President Barack Obama, the first black U.S. president.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.