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Clinton Flip-Flopped On Teacher Testing To Appease Unions

- October 11, 2015

As First Lady Of Arkansas, Clinton Said Teacher Testing Was Needed “To ‘Instill Accountability In The Eyes Of The Public.” “The state still must work to ensure the standards are met.  The testing bill for teachers and administrators is needed to ‘instill accountability in the eyes of the public.’” (Lynn Reichert, “Mrs. Clinton Lauds Changing Education,” The  Sentinel-Record, 4/25/84)

  • The Associated Press: “Arkansas Is The First State In The Nation To Test Veteran Teachers.” “Arkansas is the first state in the nation to test veteran teachers, but Georgia and Texas are preparing to, and other states are considering the move.” (“Researcher Attacks Arkansas Teacher Test,” The Associated Press, 7/13/85)

The Arkansas Education Association Tried To Block The Teacher Testing Proposal. “Few paid attention to the fact that her original standards committee had not actually suggested imposing teacher testing ‘but had only addressed the issue in vague terms. One group that did pay attention was the Arkansas education association, which tried to block the measure in the Arkansas senate.” (Jeff Gerth and Don Van Natta Jr., Her Way, 2007, p. 71)

  • AEA Was “Outraged” By Teacher Testing And Lead The Opposition. “Opposition was led by the powerful Arkansas education assn., whose 17,000 members were outraged by a plan to test all of the state’s teachers for competence.” (Edwin Chen, “First Lady’s Take-Charge Style Surfaces In New Job,” Los Angeles Times, 1/31/93)

The AFT Opposed Clinton’s Proposal To Test Practicing Teachers. “The American Federation of Teachers ended a three-day conference here today, remaining opposed to the testing of experienced teachers but indicating a new willingness to examine both sides of the issue.” (Gene I. Maeroff, “Teachers Group Seems To Relax Testing View,” The New York Times, 7/14/85)

The NEA Also Opposed Any Testing Of Teachers Who Were Already On The Job. “Both the federation and its larger rival, the National Education Association, oppose any requirement that teachers take a written test once they are on the job.” (Gene I. Maeroff, “Teachers Group Seems To Relax Testing View,” The New York Times, 7/14/85)

When Clinton Decided To Run For Senate, She Proposed Testing “New Teachers” Only, A Policy Unions Could Get Behind

In 2000, During A New York Senatorial Debate Clinton Said “You Know, I Agree That We Should Be Testing New Teachers.” MR. PRESSMAN: “We'll get to vouchers. But … But . . . is it true what he says -- that you're for testing new teachers but not teachers who are already in the system?” CLINTON: “That’s right. And that’s what the New York law is. You know, I agree that we should be testing new teachers. I believe that we ought to have pay for performance where we evaluate teachers. I think we ought to streamline the due process standards so that teachers that don’t measure up would no longer be in the classroom.” (Then-First Lady Hillary Clinton, New York Senatorial Candidates’ Debate, Buffalo, NY, 10/28/00)

  • Clinton: “I Happen To Think Teachers Are Professionals And Should Be Treated As Professionals.” CLINTON: “I happen to think teachers are professionals and should be treated as professionals. That's why I believe that we should test teachers in the beginning to make sure that when they got their teaching degree, when they got their B.A. from whatever school they graduated from, they're qualified.” (Then-First Lady Hillary Clinton, New York Senatorial Candidates’ Debate, Buffalo, NY, 10/28/00)

In April 2000, The AFT Endorsed National Exams For “Aspiring Educators” Only. “The American Federation of Teachers, the nation's second-largest teachers union, called Friday for national exams for aspiring educators as a way to raise standards.” (Patricia LaHay, “Teachers Union Calls For National Exams For New Teachers,” The Associated Press, 4/14/00)


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