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Hilary Clinton Supports Common Core but Calls Roll-Out ‘Disastrous’

Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton sat down with Long Island’s Newsday earlier in the week and discussed some hot topics in k-12 education at the moment.

Long Island is at the center of a national revolt against both Common Core Standards and the tests that accompany them; the area is currently the epicenter for the still-thriving opt-out movement, or a recent-phenomenon where parents are allowing their children to sit out of state exams in protest.

The Newsday team asked Clinton about how she feels about the standards, the tests, and the opt-out movement itself.

For one- Clinton admitted that while she agrees the Common Core roll-out has been nothing short of disastrous thanks to both poor preparation and communication, she says she supports high national standards. She did acknowledge, however, how the shoddy Common Core implementation has negatively affected schools.

I think the way they rolled out the Common Core and the expectation you can turn on a dime... They didn't even have, as I'm told, they didn't even have the instructional materials ready. They didn't have any kind of training programs. Remember a lot of states had developed their own standards and they'd been teaching to those standards. And they had a full industry that was training teachers to understand what was going to be tested. And then along comes Common Core and you're expected to turn on a dime. It was very upsetting to everybody.

But this did not stop her from supporting state exams aligned to the standards. She evoked the anger of opt-out enthusiasts when she said she would not opt her children out of state exams to send the message that taking them is still important.

While Clinton said she supports fewer and better tests, she said she supports testing in general because they are crucial in determining "how to improve the educational outcomes for individual children, for classes of children, and for schools of children.”

Clinton said at the end of the day, parents need better explanation as to why Common Core will benefit their child.

”...we have to do a better job of explaining why a common set of standards is really in the interests of the parents who are opting their kids out. Because remember, it is parents who are opting their kids out. And the parents are feeling like what is this about. This doesn't have anything to do with educating my child. So clearly, we haven't done a very good job of explaining it.”

Clinton went on to discuss her continued support for universal early education, but fumbled when asked about her feelings toward charter schools.

When asked if charter schools had a place in her vision, Clinton responded with “For good ones. For good ones.”

Newsday’s Lane Filler retorted with "Okay. Well, no one's pro-bad schools,” highlighting the fact that many presidential hopefuls find charter schools a confusing topic (see: Bernie Sanders Charter Schools During Latest Debate).

Read the full story.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor


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