Education Week - February 24, 2016 - (Page 20)

DEMOCRATS 5 Hillary Clinton Over the past three decades, former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has worked to expand access to earlychildhood education, boost academic standards, and improve child health- but her track record of success is mixed. KEY TAKEAWAYS ON EDUCATION FROM WHITE HOUSE CANDIDATES Bernie Sanders Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has touched on both K-12 and higher education issues in his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination. 1 Clinton was a big fan of early-childhood education before it became the "it" edu-policy. When she was first lady of Arkansas, Clinton spearheaded an effort to bring a program known as Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youth to the state. And as a U.S. senator from New York in 2007, she introduced the "Ready to Learn Act," which would have created a new preschool program. She also pitched a universal pre-K program as a presidential candidate back in the 2008 campaign, and again in her current presidential bid. Sanders voted against the No Child Left Behind Act in 2001, but for its successor, the Every Student Succeeds Act. His vote against the NCLB law was due to that law's emphasis on standardized testing. But over the past year, as a presidential candidate, Sanders seems to have taken a slightly different tack when it comes to testing and accountability. He backed an amendment that would have beefed-up accountability in the Senate version of what became ESSA. And he got some blowback for that position from teachers' union members across the country who support him. (The National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers have endorsed Clinton.) 2 2 3 3 1 Some in the education "reform" camp have been bothered by her campaign rhetoric, especially when it comes to charter schools. Clinton has long been a charter supporter. But she made waves earlier this year when she said charter schools don't take the toughest students (unlike public schools, which have to take everyone). Since then, Clinton seems to be trying to rebuild her relationship with charter champions. Clinton voted for the No Child Left Behind Act as a senator, and is now a big fan of its successor. Clinton supported the NCLB law back in 2001, but called for changes to it as a candidate in 2008. She was one of the first presidential candidates to congratulate Congress on passing the Every Student Succeeds Act, which replaced it. Clinton may have caught a lucky political break with ESSA's passage; now she won't have to choose between unions and the "reform" wing of the Democratic Party on sticky issues like standardized testing. 4 She's been endorsed by the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers, but not all their members are so thrilled about it. Clinton got the backing of the AFT in the 2008 election. (The NEA didn't endorse in that primary.) This time, the unions went in early for Clinton, who has long been skeptical of evaluating teachers based on test scores. But many of the unions' members would rather have seen an endorsement for her rival, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, or at least a longer process, to give the unions time to extract policy promises from Clinton. 5 Clinton is an unabashed supporter of the Common Core State Standards. In one her earliest campaign appearances, Clinton voiced support for the common core. She worked to expand access to challenging courses when she served as first lady of Arkansas. In the Senate, she introduced a bill to create voluntary math and science standards, although it didn't make it over the finish line. REPUBLICANS He's making some very big promises when it comes to college access. It's no secret that college access has been a bigger deal in the Democratic primary than just about any other education issue. Sanders arguably has the most far-reaching proposal. He wants to make public college free for everyone, and pay for it by taxing "Wall Street speculators." Sanders has been skeptical of alternative routes into the teaching profession. When the Senate education committee considered an (ultimately unsuccessful) rewrite of the NCLB law in 2011, Sanders introduced an amendment that would have made it harder for alternative-route teachers, like those in Teach For America, to be considered "highly qualified." 4 When it came to marquee competitive grants, President Barack Obama did not have a friend in Sanders. Even when Race to the Top was popular, at least among Democrats, Sanders had serious concerns about the program. The cumbersome application process, he argued, shortchanged rural states like Vermont. 5 Sanders has made educational equity a K-12 campaign theme. He doesn't have the long-standing relationship with minority voters that his chief rival, Hillary Clinton, is said to have. But he's trying to take on issues that are important to those communities. For instance, on his campaign website, he addresses opportunity gaps in K-12 education, noting that black students are far more likely to be suspended or taught by a first-year teacher than their white peers are. And he's pitched moving away from property taxes to a more equal system of funding education. Plus, Sanders has talked about the power of education to combat crime. "It makes eminently more sense to invest in jobs and education than jails and incarceration," he said at a campaign rally in Springfield, Mass., last year. He's also said that government jobs could help dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline. 20 | EDUCATION WEEK | February 24, 2016 | Ben Jeb Carson Bush Jeb Bush Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has among the longest records on K-12 of any politician in the country, never mind the GOP field. He's helped set the national K-12 agenda-and generated plenty of controversy in the process. 1 Bush wants to go big or go home on school choice. Bush's education plan is, essentially, school choice on steroids. It would allow states to consolidate some 40 federal education programs and use the money to offer lowincome families with children under five annual Education Savings Account deposits of up to $2,500. States could also allow federal Title I funds for low-income students and federal money for special education to follow children to the school of their choice, including a private school. As governor of Florida he championed "Opportunity Scholarships" or vouchers (which were later struck down in court) and tax credits. 2 Bush is a fan of the Common Core State Standards. In late 2014, when the GOP primary was just getting started, Bush had an opportunity to back down from his support of the common core. He didn't take it. Instead, he made it clear that he still supported the standards. States, he said, don't have to stick with common core, but if they don't, they need to have high standards. Bush's rivals have attacked him over and over again for his support of the common core. The pediatric neurosurgeon who has see-sawed in the polls throughout his bid for the GOP presidential nomination, is no unknown quantity on K-12 and other education issues. 1 Yes, Ben Carson has an education plan. On his website, Carson says, "The American education system is failing our children," and points to student test scores from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development's PISA exam as evidence. What's Carson's solution? He wants more school choice; empowerment for parents and districts and not Washington mandarins; "innovative ideas" for education; new block grants to allow states to reward good teachers; and a "streamlined and transparent" student loan process. 2 Carson is no fan of "free college." Democratic contender and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders' wants to make public colleges and universities tuition-free. But Carson is having none of that. During a GOP debate, Carson dismissed the idea as unrealistic and misguided. He does, however, want a "reduction in tuition costs," because Carson says student debt ultimately impacts the nation's global economic competitiveness. 3 Bush is a school accountability hawk, with his own twist on what that means. During the No Child Left Behind Act era, which essentially gave schools a "pass or fail," Bush sought what he thought of as a more-nuanced accountability system in Florida. He graded schools on an A through F scale. Later, through his nonprofit organization, the Foundation for Excellence in Education, Bush pushed other states to adopt the policy. He is also a big fan of the Every Student Succeeds Act, which turns much greater control of K-12 education to states and districts. As governor, he ended social promotion for 3rd graders. He once said that property taxes contribute to inequitable education, but later clarified what he meant. In 2014, Carson told Politico that because affluent neighborhoods generate more revenue for schools, that tax structure perpetuates a system that doesn't help upward mobility: "Wouldn't it make more sense to put the money in a pot and redistribute it throughout the country so that public schools are equal, whether you're in a poor area or a wealthy area?" But when asked about those remarks last year, Carson said to CNN that he didn't favor significant wealth redistribution as a general principle, saying that "the great divide between the haves and the havenots is education." On Facebook last year, Carson also said, "I do not support the national pooling of property tax receipts." 4 4 3 Bush was an early fan of the use of alternative routes into the teaching profession and performance pay. In Florida, Bush pushed for tougher standards for educators, alternative routes for teachers, and merit pay. He later helped champion those policies, as well as datadriven instruction and evaluations based in part on student outcomes. And he's made rewarding effective teachers a piece of his K-12 plan this year. 5 Bush took his education policy show on the road after his gubernatorial term ended. After serving as governor, Bush used the Foundation for Excellence in Education to help push states to enact rigorous standards, teacher evaluation through test scores, and expanded school choice. He advocated for more online learning. And he was the godfather of a group of state chiefs that supported many of those policies, Chiefs for Change. Carson is a fan of Title I funding. In that same Facebook post, he also expressed support for Title I funding, the U.S. Department of Education's single largest grant for K-12, targeted at disadvantaged students. He wrote that he supports Title I in order "to raise up poor inner-city and rural schools to a level where these children can get the education they deserve." Carson didn't specify in that statement, however, whether he wants more Title I money for education than what schools currently receive. 5 He says confronting gunmen in an attack at school is the right idea. After a shooting at Umpqua Community College in Oregon that left 10 people dead last October, Carson said that people in the middle of such attacks should not be passive. "I would say, 'Hey guys, everybody attack him. He may shoot me, but he can't get us all,'" Carson told the Associated Press.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Education Week - February 24, 2016

Education Week - February 24, 2016
ESSA Spotlights Strategy to Reach Diverse Learners
Will the Common Core Step Up Schools’ Focus on Grammar?
Disparities in Test Accommodations Eyed
News in Brief
Report Roundup
S.D. May Restrict Restroom Use For Transgender Students
Conn. Seminars Tackle ‘Religious Illiteracy’ In Classrooms
Seven Studies Comparing Paper and Computer Test Scores
To Offset Poverty, Ed. Groups Urge ‘Whole-Child’ Approach
Research on Deafness Yields Broader Insights
Analysis: Ill. Pension Woes Destabilizing Teaching
Blogs of the Week
Military Eyes Wider Access for Career-Aptitude Test Under ESSA
Scalia’s Death Muddies Fate of Key Cases
Courts Push Lawmakers to the Wall Over K-12 Funding
Blogs of the Week
5 Key Takeaways on Education From White House Candidates
State of the States
Preschool Suspensions Do More Harm Than Good
Personalization Isn’t About Isolation
TopSchoolJobs Recruitment Marketplace
Why Preschool Matters for Student Success

Education Week - February 24, 2016