Updated Post: In a short time we will be casting our vote for the next President of the United States of America. By now, we are probably quite familiar with where the current contenders stand on immigration, health care, and national defense, but do we know where they stand on education?
This article from Newsweek, titled The Dismal Toll of the War on Teachers by David A. Gamson reminded me why we need to know where the current presidential candidates stand on issues facing education. I am currently not in the classroom, but my research and conversations with current teachers tells me things are not too rosy. Who we elect next can either continue on the current path of “progressive” reform, or they can change course.
Before we look at some of the candidates current stances, as well as some recent education news, lets give our attention to The Kid President. Maybe I should have ended this post with that video to conclude on a high note, but you might need that good feeling to carry you through the remainder of this post.
Onto some recent news: In the first installment of this post, we learned that AFT (The American Federation of Teachers), one of the largest unions in the country, endorsed Hillary Clinton for president. Now just a few days ago, the largest labor union in the country, the NEA (National Education Association) also cast their vote for Clinton. It would appear that not every NEA member is thrilled by this move. NEA members took to Twitter to voice their disapproval. This was a similar reaction from members of AFT.
AFT’s decision was not well received by all of the 1.6 million teachers AFT represents. Social media platforms exploded with teachers calling for AFT to retract their endorsement on the grounds that the teachers were not given a vote in the matter. This was not the only reason many were incensed by AFT’s early endorsement of Hillary Clinton.
Some comments I came across from upset AFT members expressed an opinion that Hillary Clinton better represented the 1% of the population and Wall Street, not the everyday American. Many teachers also do not support Clinton’s approval of high stakes testing, common core standards, school choice, and support for No Child Left Behind. In fact millions of teachers staunchly oppose these divisive policies.
Just spend a moment on twitter or Facebook looking up Wear Red For ED or visit Diane Ravitch’s website and you will see what I mean. It would appear from what I have read from both NEA and AFT members that Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders would be the preferred candidate for endorsement. To be fair, I did find numerous comments on several websites expressing both support and admiration for Hillary Clinton. This next bit of news might come as a shocker to some of you.
Recently, a Senate compromise was reached regarding No Child Left Behind (NCLB). After much deliberation and navigation through some sticking points a new law was proposed to replace NCLB and it is the Every Child Achieves Act. This act sees the role of the Federal Government recede and power and oversight return to the States. However, this does not mean an end to high stakes testing and Common Core Standards, despite the chagrin of many. It would appear that many Republicans were pushing for an end to mandatory testing and Federal oversight, but had to reach a compromise with Democratic senators who demanded an accountability safety net remain in place to ensure fair standards in disadvantaged populations. You might find this post from Gadfly On The Wall interesting.
Here is one more thing you might find interesting. Take a guess who said the following regarding thoughts on education: “We have to stop Common Core. We must keep education local and under parental control. Un-elected Washington bureaucrats shouldn’t determine what is best for our children.” Are you thinking Bernie Sanders or Rand Paul perhaps? Wrong! The answer is..Donald Trump! Now onto where the current 2016 presidential candidates stand on key education issues.
Candidates on The Issues (Common Core, No Child Left Behind (NCLB), School Choice, & Vouchers) Note: The following information is what I was able to discover thus far on these 4 issues. For more information on other key issues and where each candidate stands visit www.ontheissues.org and check out Maureen Sullivan’s series 8 Things The Presedential Candidates Want You to Know on Forbes. If any information I provided is not accurate or is dated, please let me know in the comment section below.
Donald Trump (R): Against Common Core, Against NCLB, for School Choice, For Vouchers ?
Hillary Clinton (D): For Common Core, For NCLB, For School Choice/Against Vouchers
Ben Carson (R): Against Common Core, Against NCLB, For School Choice
Martin O’Malley (D): For Common Core, NCLB?, For School Choice, Against Vouchers
Marco Rubio (R): Against Common Core, For NCLB, For School Choice, For Vouchers
Bernie Sanders (D): For Common Core Mandates, Against NCLB, Against School Choice, Against Vouchers
Mick Huckabee (R): Against Common Core, Against NCLB, For School Choice, Vouchers ?
Lincoln Chafee (D): For Common Core, For NCLB, For School Choice
Rick Santorum (R): Against Common Core, No Longer Supports NCLB, For School Choice, For Vouchers
Jim Webb (D): Not a lot said on these issues, but is for education reform.
Ted Cruz (R): Against Common Core, Against NCLB, For School Choice
Scott Walker (R): Against Common Core, Against NCLB, For School Choice, For Vouchers
George Pataki (R): Against Common Core, Against NCLB, For School Choice, For Vouchers
Carly Fiorina (R): Against Common Core, For NCLB, For School Choice, For Vouchers
Chris Christie (R): No Longer Supports Common Core, NCLB?, For School Choice, For Vouchers
Lindsey Graham (R): Against Common Core, Against NCLB, For School Choice, For Vouchers
Bobby Jindal (R): Against Common Core, Against NCLB, For School Choice, For Vouchers
Jeb Bush (R): For Common Core, For NCLB, For School Choice
Rick Perry (R): Against Common Core, Against NCLB, For School Choice, For Vouchers
Rand Paul (R): Against Common Core, Against NCLB, For School Choice, For Vouchers
Jill Stein (Green Party): Against Common Core, Against NCLB?, Against School Choice, Against Vouchers
John Kasich (R): Against Common Core, For High Standards and Accountability, For School Choice, For Vouchers
This is sure to be one of the most dynamic and consequential presidential races in recent history. Education policy is going to play a major role in the debates and will influence the votes of many. Who is your candidate of choice? What would you tell them to focus on if you had the opportunity? In our previous posts, Teachers You Have Been Granted 3 Wishes and Teachers, Let’s Play “What If?”, we asked you to envision how you would change your own school and how you would change education in general. Make sure you read those when you can and please share you answers in the comments section. We need your input and value your opinion. Thank you for reading and for sharing.