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Clinton Discusses Intention to Close Schools Doing Less Than ‘Better-Than-Average’ Job

Clinton Discusses Intention to Close Schools Doing Less Than ‘Better-Than-Average’ Job

During a campaign stop in Iowa, Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton said she would close underperforming schools if elected.

“I wouldn’t keep any school open that wasn’t doing a better than average job,” she said.

"If a school’s not doing a good job, then, you know, that may not be good for the kids, but when you have a district that is doing a good job, it seems kind of counterproductive to impose financial burdens on it.”

Clinton’s comments are sparking a debate in the education community and leading many to question whether they will lose her the support of the many teachers’ unions standing beside her.

Initially, Clinton had the right intention by visiting a small school in Keota, Iowa that hosts only 119 students between grades 7-12. Inspired by meeting students from the school at her campaign events on several occasions, she decided to pay the small school a visit and commended Iowa for having “better than average” school districts.

Her following comments, whether they were poorly phrased or ill-conceived, are receiving backlash and inspiring headlines such as: “Hillary Clinton Threatens to Shutter Half of Schools.” 

Journalists and education experts note that when the comments are taken literally, it would mean Clinton would have to close the 50,000 public schools that annually perform below above-average.

And seeing as schools are run locally and by the state, with only 10 percent of funding coming from the federal government for K-12 schools, Clinton would not even have the authority to make such a move in her presidency

The seemingly off-the-cuff comments also made no mention as to how students would be better educated when the underperforming schools would be closed.

 

Read the full story.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

12/23/2015

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