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VIDEO: Hillary Clinton Supports Common Core

April 16, 2015

On April 14, 2015, I wrote a post about 2016 presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton’s support for the Common Core State Standards (CCSS).

I maintain that Clinton is a CCSS supporter, period.

CSPAN has a 4 1/2- minute video clip of Clinton addressing CCSS in response to a question from a student, Diane, at Kirkwood College in Monticello, Iowa, during Clinton’s 2016 campaign kickoff.

I tried to embed the video but ran into difficulties. Therefore, I videoed the video and posted to Youtube so that I might embed. Though the quality of the resulting Youtube video is affected by the double-videoing, Clinton’s words– and tone– and body language– make her support for CCSS quite clear.

Below my Youtube reproduction is the direct link to the CSPAN excerpt.

Original link to CSPAN excerpt:

And here is the transcribed text of the video:

DIANE: I think we are very blessed to live where we do, where education starting very young through high school, community college…. We have all these opportunities, and we so are fortunate here.  And I worry that not all of America gets to experience this treasure we have. And I think the Common Core is a wonderful step in the right direction of improving American education, and it’s painful to see that attacked. [Hillary (nodding): Right.]  And I’m just wondering what you can do to bring that heart back to education in the United States, you know, where, what can, what can we do so that parents and communities and businesses believe in American education, and that teachers are respected, and our schools are respected, and our colleges are respected, and we offer a quality education to all Americans, you know, throughout the United States?

HILLARY CLINTON: Wow. That is a really powerful, touching comment that I embrace. 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. It was to try 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, that 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.

Now, I think that part of the reason why Iowa may be more understanding of this is you’ve had the Iowa Core for four years. You’ve had a system plus the Iowa assessment test. I think I’m right saying that I took them when I was in elementary school, right? The Iowa, you know, tests. So that 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. And so, don’t understand the value of a core in that sense, a common core. Then yes, of course, you can figure out the best way in your community to, uh, try to reach.

But your question is, really, a larger one: How do we end up at a point where we are so, ah, 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, and, there are a lot of explanations for that, I, I suppose, but whatever they are, we need to try to get back into a, Um, broad conversation where people will actually listen to each other again and try to come up with, uh, the solutions for problems because the problems here in Monticello are not the same problems you’ll find in the inner city of our biggest, you know, urban areas. That’s a given. We have to do things differently, but it should all be driven by the same commitment to try to make sure we do educate every child. That’s why, you know, 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’ve got disabilities so we’re going to sweep you to 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. And so, I think we’ve got to get back to basics, and we have to look to teachers to lead the way.

There you have it: Clinton’s words, tone, and body language.

For CCSS, and offering no apologies for No Child Left Behind, at that.

For more on Clinton’s Iowa visit, see this informative CNN take.

hillary clinton 2



Schneider is a southern Louisiana native, career teacher, trained researcher, and author of the ed reform whistle blower, A Chronicle of Echoes: Who’s Who In the Implosion of American Public Education.

She also has her second book available on pre-order, Common Core Dilemma: Who Owns Our Schools?, due for publication June 12, 2015.

CC book cover



  1. 2old2tch permalink

    Noticed how she talked about a common core CURRICULUM. Then she backed off and started talking about how communities are very different and need to be treated differently, blah,blah.blah. I found it amusing that she equated the Iowa Test of Basic Skills with common core testing. She is leaving herself open to be “educated” about how this whole equitable schooling process should happen. We teachers are supposed to tell her. Does she wants to really hear what needs to be done that goes far beyond the individual classroom?

  2. Thanks for the video. Most people will miss this, however, it does show that Common Core is NOT what Mrs. Clinton and her group believe it is. I guess they have not taken a true look to see what is in this stealth monster. Fortunately for people like yourself we can read and see what type of indoctrination our children are being exposed to. Not to mention “math” lessons and the constant testing going on.

  3. Laura chapman permalink

    Pathetic ignorance, including ignorance of her staff. Unaware of the contradictions she is uttering. Similar to the ignorance of the top officials in education for the state of California who have the commentary section of EdWeek.

  4. John a permalink

    Fantastic find! I have posted it on my Face Book page. Let’s not forget that Clinton had deep connections to the investment baking world and the hedge fund boys who are spear heading the development of Charter schools. She is both ignorant about the issues and not aware of the rising tide of parent opt out resistance to standardized testing. Does she have educational policy advisors? Is she not aware that runs the very real risk of alienating a group of voters who could well form a strong base for her push towards nomination?

  5. Peter permalink

    The Center for American Progress has been described as a holding tank for future Clinton administration members. John Podesta founded and ran CAP and now he’s HRC’s camaign chief. Even a cursory glance at CAP’s work for testing, Common Core, and charters makes it clear that these are not folks who love and support public education.

  6. Old Teacher permalink

    We will have to fight the deformation of education on our own, clearly we have no reinforcements coming on the presidential political front. We will have to win the fight locally with parents and civil disobedience. The battle goes on.

  7. The big challenge with the Common Core for the public and therefore politicians who need their votes is that it does address the huge discrepancy in education standards across the country. There is something intuitively attractive about all students getting to the same level.

    Of course, the damage that standards do inside education, the damage teachers see, is not as easy to communicate. And how most kids are far away from the standards, impossibly below or cruising above. Teachers need to do a better job of describing the dysfunction standards bring into the schools.

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