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Hillary Clinton: Vowing to Close Schools Not “Above Average”

December 22, 2015

Addendum 12-24-15:

See Clinton’s full speech here.

See my follow-up post here.


A numeric average is a relative statistic. If I have a set of numeric values and I calculate an average using the set, by definition, some individual values will fall below average, and likely, some will be right on the average. If I remove these below-average and average values, the original average does not remain fixed– and if I average the remaining originally-above-average values, some will newly be below average, and likely, some exactly average.

The truth about the relative nature of averages is apparently lost on Democratic presidential hopeful, Hillary Clinton. On December 22, 2015, Clinton spoke at a high school in Keota, Iowa, where she said, “I wouldn’t keep any school open that wasn’t doing a better-than-average job.” She later equated “better-than-average” with “good.”

Listen to her words in this 25-second video clip:

Of course, closing “below average” and “average” schools only leads to a recalculated average among remaining schools– some of which would be “below average” upon recalculation– and some of which would likely be exactly average.

In fact, the only way to guarantee that no school could possibly be below average is to only have a single school. Still, based on Clinton’s “above average” criteria, that one would have to go, as well. It wouldn’t be below average, but it wouldn’t be above average, either. Being the only one, it would be, well, average.

Not good enough.

Let’s just shut every school.

Problem solved, Hils.

hilllary clinton


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 a second book, Common Core Dilemma: Who Owns Our Schools?, published in June 2015.

both books

Don’t care to buy from Amazon? Purchase my books from Powell’s City of Books instead.

  1. Gayaneh permalink

    And the NEA and AFT support her. Just when you think it can’t get worse for public education, something like this happens.

    • chipswun29 permalink

      Whats she going to do with all the children who are having their schools shut down? Instead of fixing the problem she would only create havoc…its apparent she doesn’t know what she is talking about, unless it has something to do with profits she is clueless…

      Bernie Sanders 2016! This country cant afford Hillary!

    • AFT support gives teachers a seat at the table – somewhere – but, wall street will have a far more.

  2. Hillary is not getting my vote, but is there any one in the running that would be good for education?

    • Yuna W permalink

      Bernie Sanders

    • Rand Paul has wanted to shut down the US DEPT OF ED for years and I believe he will seriously try to make it happen. Others have said they would do it too but I believe Paul is the only one serious about it. The others are appealing to the public. They surely have not been saying this for as long as Paul. He is the only one I would trust on this subject. Until we get the federal government out of education we will never fix this mess. Charters have to go as well. They offer the opposite of Choice. Choice has never been the goal with Charters. Choice is the lie they used to get Charters going. They ALL need to be outlawed.

      • MamaDee permalink

        I would love to see that happen. Local schools need to be run by people who live in the community. They do not need to be dictated to by bureaucrats in DC who have never set foot in the community, let alone any specific school.

    • chipswun29 permalink

      Bernie Sanders!

  3. Harlan Underhill permalink

    Lake Woebegone, where all the children are above average.

    • E. Johnson permalink

      And the men are all strong and the women are all good looking.

  4. Gayaneh permalink

    So much for the ESSA reducing federal interference in education.

  5. Morgan permalink

    This technique of requiring below average schools to comply to a different set of rules is really just a way to gradually force their way and it’s being used in every Common Core setup where they require some sort of scoring or grading metric. I’ve even seen this in the teacher evaluation programs, school grading, and school guidance counselor programs. It’s the big fad being pushed by all the most influential Education NGO’s and lobbyists. Eventually every school, class, teacher, curriculum, and student will be the same.

    • Common Core is not what created this. It was Race To The Top. CC was just one of four components of RTTT.

  6. Dr. Rich Swier permalink

    Great. Posted:

    Merry Christmas,


  7. Looks like a failure of math education here, and I’ll bet she went to one of those “superb” private schools.

  8. And THAT is the agenda. To close down ALL public schools, replace them with Charters and eliminate elected school boards. And all of Hillary and her progressive crew get rich from privatizing our schools.

    • Mary M. permalink

      Progressives aren’t for charter schools, “brackenkaren”. That is a conservative/Republican idea, because they believe private industry can do _everything_ better. Progressives are just about always against privatization of services that are for the public good, and schools are a very, very large part of that, because with private industry the shareholders are higher priority than the recipients of those services. (It’s one of the big reasons why private insurance companies have screwed Americans over so badly on our healthcare, and why the ACA has been such a problem – the insurance industry forced Obama to remove the public option, which was essentially buying into Medicare and was supposed to be a cheaper alternative to private insurance as a stepping-stone to a system similar to that of Canada or the UK for everyone, and leave _them_ in control of the whole thing with no restrictions on how high they can raise deductibles and premiums.) The financial and educational scams some of these charter schools are pulling off will blow your mind, and many are getting away with it because they typically have so little accountability to anyone. While a shoe store isn’t going to irreparably destroy anyone’s life if it provides lousy service from corner-cutting and goes out of business, a charter school that provides lousy service from corner-cutting and goes out of business can screw up the lives of hundreds of children for years to come.

      And Hillary Rodham Clinton is NOT progressive by a LONG shot – you want progressives, you need to look at people like Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. Hillary claims to be a Democrat, but she’s a Third Way centrist who sucks up to big business.

  9. William Carr permalink

    Hillary’s son in law is connected to a hedge fund. Why wouldn’t she want to close public schools and open hedge fund sponsored charter schools.

  10. This is very, very, very, very, very (etc) bad news. Where are our champions in politics? Obama was a disaster and now Hillary’s promising to continue the bludgeoning.

    And guess who endorsed her:

    • Wonder what Bernie’s slant is. Funny how he was doing so well at the beginning and then the press dropped that coverage and concentrated on Trump, instead.

  11. Anne permalink
    Great piece by Senator Shaffer with Hillary’s friend Marc Tucker’s Congressional Record remarks.

  12. Hillary will say virtually anything to get elected, you can’t even trust her own words. If you judge her views based on what she’s said, you can’t tell if she’s “left” or “right” or “moderate” — because it’s different depending on the audience.

    She may or may not close schools for stupid reasons. If there was enough pressure on her from corporate backers, and there will be, she is not beyond following through her nonsensical words with the appropriate nonsensical actions.

    +1 for Bernie, by far the ONLY candidate who will stand up to corporate and political interests.

  13. MamaDee permalink

    She must have gone to a “below average” school. Perhaps that’s why she sucks at math.

  14. It is up to us to ensure the young ones are taken care of. Elitists way of thinking is why we are unanle to teach the students the way which is best. Join the Agents of Education and we will expose the hypocrisy of their ways. I suited up because I grew tired of their arrogance. United as One! Engaged on behalf of those who look up to us!

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