Thursday, February 18, 2016

Trying to Reconcile Hillary Clinton's "Firewall" of Black Americans with her Anti-Charter Rhetoric

Well, it's a hard slog, but today the Wall Street Journal Editorial Board gives such reconciliation a shot. No dice. Here's part of the discussion, which pivots off HRC's wooing of Al Sharpton and her speech on America's systemic racism.
Mrs. Clinton had a better case when she railed against what she called the “school-to-prison pipeline.” Because black children don’t get an education that would give them real options in life, she said, many end up in prison. There’s a lot to this, but then Mrs. Clinton refuses to address the main reason that so many black children lack a quality education: failing public schools, with no chance to escape to a better one. 
Not too many years ago Mrs. Clinton understood this enough to support charter schools, if not private vouchers. But in this election year she has become a charter critic, attacking them for not taking all comers even if they rescue tens of thousands each year. In return she has received the unusually early endorsements of both the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association. 
Those endorsements may help her beat Mr. Sanders, but they also create an opening for Republicans in the fall: Her talk about opportunity is empty as long as she dooms poor minority children to failing schools.

3 comments:

Anne Clark said...

Sec. Clinton's response to the AFT questionnaire:
Charters should be held to the same standards, and to the same level of accountability and transparency to which traditional public schools are held. This includes the requirements of civil rights laws. They can innovate and help improve educational practices. But I also believe that we must go back to the original purpose of charter schools. Where charters are succeeding, we should be doing more to ensure that their innovations can be widely disseminated throughout our traditional public school system. Where they are failing, they should be closed. - See more at: http://www.aft.org/election2016/candidate-questionnaire-hillary-rodham-clinton#sthash.oyHS9Fvq.dpuf

I don't think this is anti-charter.

NJ Left Behind said...

I agree, Anne. The problem is HRC's embrace of AFT and NEA, which repeat the same talking points but lobby against public school choice. Randi Weingarten, for example, rails against the “virulent antiunion atmosphere and climate that we’ve seen in charters."
HRC actually has a long history of supporting school choice, so I'm hoping that this current pander is just that: a triangulation game to garner union support. But it does make me worry.

Giuseppe said...

Charter schools have unelected boards of directors. Charter schools are unaccountable to the duly elected school boards, they are like separate school districts unto themselves. The real public schools have to take everyone who enters the door all year long. Charter schools drain funds and resources from the actual public schools. Overall and on average, most charter schools do no better than the district schools, some are very good and some are horrible. Charter schools do not have the same percentages of special ed, English language learners and discipline problems as the district schools do. Charter schools often "counsel out" the more difficult kids.