Where does Hillary Clinton stand on K-12 schools?
By Matthew Lynch
This is one of a series of posts on Hillary Clinton and her stance on education issues. To see all the posts in this series, click here.
A lot has changed since the days that Hillary Clinton was in the role of First Lady, and that is certainly the case when it comes to education. The hot button issues today when it comes to K-12 learning are vastly different from even 8 years ago when she first launched a Presidential run.
So where does the former First Lady, and potentially future Commander in Chief, stand when it comes to educating American youth — particularly those in K-12 grades?
We don’t know the full scope of her education platform just yet, but she has hinted at some leanings when it comes to her agenda for K-12 learners in the U.S. A few early takeaways include:
Hillary Clinton is pro-Common Core. At her first official campaign stop in Iowa, Clinton praised Common Core and called parents who misunderstand the value of the controversial academics “unfortunate.” She also inserted the idea that education is a “non-family” entity in the U.S., and an important one. For what it’s worth, I agree with Clinton. I’ve seen too many parents argue against Common Core because it is different from what they did as kids — but isn’t that the point? The U.S. lags behind other developed countries, particularly when it comes to STEM topics, so we should be taking a different approach when it comes to these topics. While her “non-family” comment may appear harsh to some, I think it’s good that Clinton is taking a confident approach early on and not softening her platform.
Hillary Clinton likes charter schools. As far back as when her husband was in the position she now seeks, Hillary Clinton has been a supporter of quality charter schools in the U.S. During Bill Clinton’s time in office, charter schools grew from 2,000 to 5,800 nationwide and he was quoted as saying he wished there was “10,000” that were available to the nation’s youth. Hillary Clinton has already mentioned that she also supports pubic charter schools — an issue that she coincidentally aligns her beliefs with Jeb Bush. Expect more rhetoric from her about how quality charter schools lead to more opportunities to at-risk American students.
Hillary Clinton does not like voucher programs. While she does support school choice as it exists as a form of public education, Clinton has always been opposed to allowing public funds to be used toward private and religious schools. As a New York Senator, Hillary Clinton voted against voucher programs in the state in 2001.
Hillary Clinton is pro-teachers. As a Senator, Clinton voted for hiring more teachers instead of tutors on a few occasions and has always spoken out about providing adequate funding and resources for teachers. She has called teacher standards the heart of K-12 reform but believes that teachers need the government to support their efforts. Last year, American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten said she believes Clinton will be a “fantastic president.” It is clear that Clinton expects a lot from K-12 teachers, especially in publicly funded schools, but that she wanted them to succeed and is invested in making that happen.
I’m looking forward to hearing more about where Hillary Clinton stands when it comes to our K-12 schools, teachers and educational goals.
What part of K-12 education do you hope she makes a central part of her campaign?
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