Well it didn’t take very long for us to get our answer on where Hillary Clinton stood on Common Core. Clinton’s campaign arranged an education roundtable at a satellite campus of Kirkwood Community College in Monticello, Iowa. Toward the end one of the participants, Diane Temple, who is a high school teacher and adjunct instructor at the college said, “I think that we are very blessed to live where we do where education, starting very young through high school, this community college, we have all these opportunities and we are so fortunate here. I worry that not all of America gets to experience this treasure that we have. I think Common Core is a wonderful first step in the right direction of improving American education and it is painful to see that attacked.
“And I am just wondering what can you do to bring that heart back to education in the United States? You know what can we do so that parents, communities and businesses believe in American education and that teachers are respected and our colleges are respected and we offer a quality education to all Americans throughout the United States?” Temple asked.
“Wow, that is a powerful, touching comment that I absolutely embrace. You know when I think about the really unfortunate argument going on around Common Core it’s very painful because the Common Core started off as a bipartisan effort, it was actually non-partisan, it wasn’t politicized, it was trying to come up with a core of learning that we might expect students to achieve across our country no matter what kind of school district they were in, no matter how poor their family was, there wouldn’t be two tiers of education. Everybody would be looking at what was to be learned and doing their best to try to achieve that,” Clinton responded.
“I think part of the reason why Iowa may be more understanding of this… You had the Iowa Core for years. You’ve had a system of plus the Iowa Assessment Tests. I think I am right in saying I took those when I was in elementary school. You know the Iowa tests so Iowa has had a testing system based on a core curriculum for a really long time, and you see the value of it. You understand why that helps you organize your whole education system. And a lot of states, unfortunately, haven’t had that so they don’t understand the value of a core, in the sense, a common core that then you can figure out the best way to try to reach,” Clinton added.
She then responded to Temple’s actual question.
“But your question is really a larger one. How did we end up at a point where we are so negative about the most important non-family enterprise in the raising of the next generation which is how our kids are educated? There are a lot of explanations for that I suppose, but whatever they are we need to try to get back into a broad conversation where people will actually listen to each other again and try to come up with solutions for problems because the problems here in Monticello are not the same problems that you’ll find in the inner city of our biggest, you know, urban areas. That’s a given,” Clinton stated.
“We have to do things differently, but it should all be driven by the same commitment to try to make sure that we educate every child. That’s why I was a Senator and voted for Leave No Child Behind because I thought every child should matter and should be (told) ‘you are poor,’ ‘you got disabilities so we are going to sweep you to the back so don’t show up on test day because we don’t want to mess up our scores.'” Clinton added. “No! Every child should have the same opportunity and so I think we have got to get back to basics, and we have got to look to teachers to lead the way on that. You are the ones (looking at the teachers in the group) who have 21, 15 and 46 years of experience. So I think you make a very important observation about what we need to be doing and what I hope I can do in this campaign and as President.”
I’m curious what exactly about the argument is painful? The fact we’re having an argument? Is she upset with the plethora of New York Democrats who are against it? Calling something “non-partisan” doesn’t mean it lacks ideology or that it is good. Does Clinton even understand why parents oppose Common Core? I doubt it or she doesn’t care.
Another question how has “Leave No Child Behind” (you’d think she’d get the name right) helped to educate our kids? Apparently she forgot to tell her Iowa audience that she opposed No Child Left Behind in 2008.
Also, she needs to explain her comment calling education the most important “non-family enterprise in the raising of the next generation.” She said that teachers need to be involved in developing education policies. What about parents?