Dear Commons Community,
Hillary Clinton at meetings with the leadership of the NEA and AFT, expressed concerns about the climate of testing that has dominated federal education policy for the past fourteen years. As reported in The Huffington Post:
“On Monday, Clinton met with Lily Eskelsen García, president of the National Education Association, the largest teachers union in the country. García interviewed Clinton as part of the NEA’s candidate endorsement process for the 2016 election. In the interview, Clinton expressed skepticism about contemporary standardized tests.
“Are tests important? Yes. Do we need accountability? Yes. But we’ve gotten off track in what we test and what we test for that we sacrifice so much else in the curriculum, in the school day and school year,” said Clinton in an interview excerpt released by the NEA.
“So many of our poorer schools have cut off all the extracurricular activities. We’ve taken away band, in so many places we’ve taken away a lot of the sports. We’ve taken away arts classes. We’ve taken away school productions,” Clinton said in another excerpt. “I would like to see us get back to looking at individual children, looking at age appropriate learning experiences, looking at enriching the classroom experience.”
The interview comes a week after Clinton, along with fellow Democratic presidential candidates Gov. Martin O’ Malley of Maryland and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), attended the executive council meeting of the American Federation of Teachers, the nation’s other major teachers union.
During that meeting, Clinton emphasized her appreciation for teachers, saying, “It is just dead wrong to make teachers the scapegoats for all of society’s problems.”
“I want to work with you to make sure we do what needs to be done based on evidence, not ideology. … And from what I’ve seen, all of the evidence, and my own personal experience, says that the most important and impactful thing we can do for our public schools is to recruit, support and retain the highest-quality educators,” Clinton said, according to an excerpt of the meeting.”
Hillary Clinton is saying the right things and will have an easy time of securing the endorsements of the NEA and AFT.