|Hillary at Newsday|
"Well, I have always supported national standards. I've always believed that we need to have some basis on which to determine whether we're making progress, vis-à-vis other countries..." -- Hillary Clinton tells Newsday
“I believe the Common Core State Standards may prove to be the single greatest thing to happen to public education in America since Brown v. Board of Education.” -- Arne Duncan, June 25, 2013
Looks like Hillary Clinton threw a bone to Randi Weingarten Monday night, when she called the roll out of the Common Core education standards “disastrous”.
They didn't even have, as I'm told, they didn't even have the instructional materials ready. They didn't have any kind of training programs. Remember a lot of states had developed their own standards and they'd been teaching to those standards. And they had a full industry that was training teachers to understand what was going to be tested. And then along comes Common Core and you're expected to turn on a dime. It was very upsetting to everybody.
Was this payback for Randi's premature (before Hillary even announced her candidacy) endorsement? If so, is this all we get in exchange for her toadyism? Or was HC simply re-positioning herself (triangulating) vis-a-vis her likely opponent in November, Donald Trump, who attacks Common Core from the right?
Hillary, and the Democrats have been long-time supporters of Common Core, but she been trying to avoid the subject during the primary because of CC's unpopularity with parents and educators from left to right on the political spectrum. For that matter, so has Bernie Sanders.
But why criticize just the roll-out?
This focus on the "roll out", with little mention of the dis-empowerment of classroom teachers, or the mandated testing regimen which now drives curriculum and teacher evaluation, echoes the rhetoric of the AFT and NEA leadership. Along with the Democratic Party leadership, they were originally all-in on this "bi-partisan" (Jeb Bush's baby) legislation. Just like they were on No Child Left Behind and its latest incarnation NESA. But resistance from parents as well as from their own rank-and-file has forced them into a more critical stance.
After the Chicago Teachers Union passed its anti-CC resolution in 2014, Randi came to Chicago and sounded a little more like CTU Pres. Karen Lewis. She even called the standards, "developmentally inappropriate". A big leap Hillary hasn't yet made.
Hillary did tell Newsday that she opposes evaluating teachers based on student test results "as long as the tests are flawed" and thinks the question of whether they’d ever be good enough to rate teachers on is "too hypothetical to answer right now". That's about as good as it's going to get from Hillary and the Democrats.
But she added, that she wouldn’t opt out granddaughter Charlotte from New York’s standardized tests (even if they are flawed?).