Hillary Clinton Thinks Common Core a Good Idea
Hillary Clinton was in Iowa today, campaigning.
According to The Guardian’s live blog coverage by Tom McCarthy, Hillary Clinton is sympathetic towards “the plight of Common Core.” McCarthy reports:
Clinton bemoaned the plight of Common Core educational standards, a good idea she said had been taken hostage by the political debate.
UPDATE 04-15: Here are Clinton’s actual words, as taken from her April 14, 2014, education roundtable at Kirkwood College (Monticello, Iowa):
You know what I think about the really unfortunate argument that has been going on around Common Core? It’s very painful because the Common Core started off as a bipartisan effort. It was actually nonpartisan. It wasn’t politicized. [Emphasis added.]
Hence, McCarthy captures her attitude well when he writes that Clinton is “bemoaning the plight” of Common Core as having been “taken hostage by the political debate.”
Implicit in Clinton’s message is that Common Core would have been just fine except that it became entangled in politics.
Get a clue, Hillary: Common Core was birthed in politics.
But I think you know that.
The National Governors Association (NGA) is one of two organizations that holds the Common Core copyright. That right there is a problem for a so-called “state led” education initiative.
Then there is US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan using federal money to pay for two Common-Core-associated testing consortia– and announcing as much in 2009, before there even was a Common Core.
Never mind that the other Common Core copyright owner, the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), has a CEO, Gene Wilhoit, who thought it would be a good idea to ask billionaire Bill Gates in 2008 to bankroll Common Core.
Politically-connected edupreneur David Coleman– who did business in 2002 (the early days of No Child Left Behind) with Arne Duncan during Duncan’s time as CEO of Chicago Public Schools– was with Wilhoit when he asked Gates for his money.
Then, a few years later, Wilhoit moved on from CCSSO and was replaced by former Pearson associate, Chris Minnich.
Following his CCSSO retirement, Wilhoit conveniently joined Coleman’s Common-Core-centered for-profit-gone-nonprofit, Student Achievement Partners.
And Coleman moved on to become the president of an assessment company, College Board.
So, you see, Hillary, Common Core was never “not political.”
On June 12, 2015, my book on the history, development, and promotion of Common Core, Common Core Dilemma: Who Owns Our Schools?, will be released.
Clinton should read it.
But back to Iowa.
At least Hillary publicly admitted her sympathy for Common Core.
This puts her on the same side as another 2016 presidential hopeful:
However, according to McCarthy’s report of Clinton’s campaign kickoff in Iowa, Clinton plans to dodge directly addressing education in her campaign:
Clinton laid out four campaign planks: 1) revitalizing economy 2) supporting families 3) getting dirty $$ out of politics 4) defending against threats seen and unseen
Surely she knows that she will be asked again and again– and again– about Common Core and its lead-balloon, federally-funded consortium tests.
Clinton will have numerous occasions to “bemoan its plight.”
UPDATE 04-15-15: An aside: Clinton also continues by explaining why she voted for No Child Left Behind when she was a senator, why she went for that punitive, test-score-driven mess that was supposed to lead to “100 percent proficiency in reading and math by 2014.” In the quote below, Clinton does not correctly name NCLB, which is itself a politically loaded term:
… I was a senator and voted for, you know, leave no child behind because I thought every child should matter and shouldn’t be, ‘You are poor,” or “You have disabilities so we will sweep you in the back; don’t show up on test day because we don’t want to mess up our scores.” No, every child should have the same opportunity.
Clinton supports test driven education reform. She supported NCLB, and she supports Common Core, which is just another layer on the test-score-driven-reform cake.