hillary-clinton-education-roundtableHillary 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.”

What’s painful is not the argument, but the fact we had to have it after Common Core was adopted under the nose of parents.  “Non-partisan” does not mean the method of adoption was appropriate.  It also doesn’t mean the content within the standards is of quality.  Calling an argument “politicized” well since education is policy it goes through the political process.  We the people should have a voice in the process.

Clinton’s comments about Iowa demonstrate she doesn’t have a clue what she is talking about.  First, Iowa has not had standards for “a very long time.”  Iowa didn’t first adopt the Iowa Core until 2005 as 9-12th grade standards in literacy, math and science.  Iowa didn’t make it mandatory until 2008 when they expanded for K-12 adding social studies and 21st century skills.  The Iowa Assessments or the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills were not based on our state standards as they were not required for the entire state until 2008.  Iowa, by the way, was one of the last states to adopt state standards.  Since Clinton experienced those assessments she should know that Iowa was not the only state to utilize them anyway.

I also find it humorous that in her attempt to defend Common Core she makes an argument for local control.  She said, “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.”

Precisely why many of us opposed Common Core because it is a one-size fits all proposition.  Oh the irony!

Also Clinton calls education the “most important non-family enterprise in the raising of the next generation.”  This is a sign that she still holds on to her “it takes a village to raise a child” philosophy which is nothing but liberal nonsense.  It takes a family to raise a child, and it takes parents to educate children as the involvement of parents is the number one factor determining student achievement.

Education is not a “non-family” enterprise because parents are the ones responsible for the education of their children.  Homeschooling is a great example of this, but even with private and public education parents must be involved.  The appeal to teachers “leading the way” is interesting as hardly any classroom teachers were on the writing, research or validation committees developing Common Core.  Also it doesn’t seem to leave room for parents who are the biggest stakeholders.

Also I’d like to point out that the Church plays a larger role in assisting parents to raise kids.  Schools in a large measure, especially progressives within education, have unfortunately sought to replace parents or often see parents as an obstacle, not a partner. (In fairness to educators some parents are obstacles to their student’s achievement, but that doesn’t excuse treating all of them that way.)

Part of the biggest problem with Common Core is that it left parents behind.  Their voices were not heard before the standards implemented.  Their voices are not being heard in many states debating this now.  Their voices have not been heard with the education establishment, and with idiotic way Common Core aligned curriculum is having kids do math it is leaving parents behind in their ability to help their kids.

5 comments
  1. From my wife Siena Hoefling’s post of your link to this article on her facebook page:

    “Friedrich Engels said the same thing in 1847. In Principles of Communism, Engels mentioned that communism would “educate children on a communal basis.” Communal education would help remove the “dependence . . . of children on the parents.” By this, with the abolition of private property, the communists could move on to destroy civil marriage. Marriage and family are obstacles to the grand utopian schemes of the elites.”

    1. The founders of America started the first public education system in the world, and the Marxists hated the idea that the capitalists did everything first. George Washington sold the property won from the English in the Revolutionary War to Americans, and used some of the profits to start the common schools. At first they taught reading, writing and arithmetic. That was all the “common people” in America wanted, since their children learned everything else at home and in the church. With about three years of grammar school, many students were considered able to keep the books for a business.

      Before the revolution, “That great Puritan thinker Cotton Mather summarized early Harvard’s basic requirements for incoming students. Notice the striking contrast of expectations between the grammar schools of yesteryear and those of our own day: When scholars had so far profited at the grammar schools, that they could read any classical author into English, and readily make and speak true Latin, and write it in verse as well as prose: and perfectly decline the paradigms of nouns and verbs in the Greek tongue, they were judged capable of admission in Harvard College.”
      Quite the grammar school education! There were similar standards for Yale. From “Classical Education and the Home School,” Wilson, Callihan, and Jones 1995. cited in Richard Hofstadter,ed., American Higher Education Vol. 1, pg 17. Your wife is a well informed person.

      1. Home schooling was around for a long time, community schools were run by parents thru the late 1800’s, the schools of today are a relatively young and lousy experiment.

  2. There’s something very wrong about a presidential candidate’s position that education is a non-family enterprise when study after study focusing on student success concludes that parent involvement is a critical factor. If she’s all about the 21st century, shouldn’t she be considering education research studies to justify her position, or is it all about ideology laid out in the “Dear Hillary” letter of the 1990’s? It takes a village but not a family sounds more like the philosophical musings of Plato’s Republic than the realities of the American Republic. Clinton is definitely in the wrong place and in the wrong era, with the wrong idea.

  3. “That’s why I voted for Leave No Child Behind.” Really? She doesn’t even know the NAME of the most sweeping education reform? That she voted for?!?

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