Education Week - February 24, 2016 - (Page 20)
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
KEY TAKEAWAYS ON EDUCATION
FROM WHITE HOUSE CANDIDATES
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has
touched on both K-12 and higher
education issues in his bid for the
Democratic presidential nomination.
Clinton was a big fan of early-childhood
education before it became the "it"
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
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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 | www.edweek.org
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.
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.
Bush is a fan of the Common Core
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
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.
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.
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
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."
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.
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.
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
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
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