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Clinton Defends Teachers, Shares Vision of Powerful Department of Education

Clinton Defends Teachers, Shares Vision of Powerful Department of Education

Though education rarely gets discussed on the debate stage, last night it took center stage after being mentioned by CNN moderator Anderson Cooper in Flint, MI as he led the debate between Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.

Cooper asked Hillary Clinton if she believed that teachers' unions protect bad teachers.

Teaching is "an incredibly difficult job, one of the most difficult jobs there is, but union rules often make it impossible to fire bad teachers, and that means disadvantaged kids are sometimes taught by the least qualified. Do you think unions protect bad teachers?” Cooper asked.

While Clinton did not acknowledge directly the criticism of teachers’ unions, she urged against blaming America’s teachers for the plight of in-need children.

“What do we need in the 21st century to really involve families, to help kids who have more problems than just academic problems … Honestly, it really pains me. A lot of people have been blaming and scapegoating teachers because they don’t want to put the money into the school system that deserves the support that comes from the government doing its job,” Clinton said.

Clinton has been backed by two of the nation’s biggest teachers’ unions, and she reiterated during the debate that she was proud of both endorsements.

“We need to eliminate that criticism. Teachers do so much good. They are often working under the most difficult circumstances, so anything that could be changed, I want them to look at, and I will be a good partner to make sure that whatever I can do as president, I will do to support the teachers of our country,” Clinton said.

Clinton also touched on her view of how the Department of Education should operate.

Despite the new education legislation, the Every Student Succeeds Act, being designed with the intention to limit the scope of the federal government, Clinton made it clear that’s not her vision.

She said she would support the creation of an “education SWAT team” to " help intervene in struggling including Detroit's, as well as steer federal money to repairing and modernizing schools, and find a new role for the feds in improving the teacher pipeline,” said Education Week.

She made it very clear she thinks the Department of Education has responsibility in regulating K-12 education.

What do YOU think? Should the Department of Education stay in or butt out of K-12 education? ? Voice your opinion by taking our poll below.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

3/7/2016

Should the Department of Education stay in or butt out of K-12 education?

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