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Clinton Shifts On Charter Schools

- November 13, 2015

Politico Headline: "Hillary Clinton Rebukes Charter Schools" (Kimberly Hefling, "Hillary Clinton Rebukes Charter Schools," Politico, 11/9/15)

  • Clinton Speaking At An Event In South Carolina, Stated That "Most Charter Schools" "Don't Take The Hardest-To-Teach Kids," Echoing A Line Used By Charter School Opponents. CLINTON: "And here's a couple of problems. Most charter schools - I don't want to say every one - but most charter schools, they don't take the hardest-to-teach kids, or, if they do, they don't keep them. And so the public schools are often in a no-win situation, because they do, thankfully, take everybody, and then they don't get the resources or the help and support that they need to be able to take care of every child's education." (Hillary Clinton, Remarks At The Legislative Black Caucus Town Hall, Orangeburg, SC, 11/7/15)

Clinton Had Been A Supporter Of Charter Schools Since The 90s. "Every [sic] since the 1990s, Clinton has expressed support for charter schools, but in Saturday's remarks, she said something that is likely to irritate her supporters within the Democratic Party who are avid backers of charter schools as a principal means of reforming public education: that most charters don't accept those students who are the most difficult to educate, or, if they do, they 'don't keep them.'" (Valerie Strauss, "Hillary Clinton: 'Most Charter Schools 'Don't Take The Hardest-To-Teach Kids, Or, If They Do, They Don't Keep Them,'" The Washington Post , 11/8/15)

  • Clinton "Publicly Applauded" Charters While Then-President Bill Clinton Created Policies That Expanded Charter Schools. "When Bill Clinton took office in 1993, there was a lone charter school in Minnesota, according to advocates. He helped create a grant program that provides seed money to open charters, providing hundreds of millions of dollars over the years and paving the way for thousands to open. As first lady, Hillary Clinton publicly applauded the program." (Kimberly Hefling, "Hillary Clinton Rebukes Charter Schools," Politico, 11/9/15)

Clinton's Comments Sparked Quick Rebuke From School Reform Advocates

Clinton’s Remarks On Charter Schools “Lit Up The World Of K-12 Education Policy, Prompting Outrage From Organizations That Have Been Fighting To Expand Charter Schools As An Alternative To Traditional Schools.” “The remarks lit up the world of K-12 education policy, prompting outrage from organizations that have been fighting to expand charter schools as an alternative to traditional schools. Some alleged that the presidential hopeful is out of touch.” (Lyndsey Layton, “Hillary Clinton Wades Into The Internal Democratic Battle Over Public Schools,” The Washington Post, 11/11/15)

Shavar Jeffries, President Of The Liberal-Leaning Democrats For Education Reform, Stated He Was "Very Troubled And Concerned" With Clinton's Comments. "'There's no doubt that we're very troubled and concerned,' said Shavar Jeffries, president of Democrats for Education Reform. 'We don't want any sort of slowdown on the Obama legacy of expanding high-quality charter seats, particularly for families of color, many of whom are attending schools that are failing them.'" (Lyndsey Layton, "Hillary Clinton Wades Into The Internal Democratic Debate Over Public Schools," The Washington Post , 11/11/15)

Jeanne Allen, Founder Of The Center For Education Reform, Said Clinton Sounded Like "An Aloof, Elite Candidate From A Bygone Era." "'That is absolutely false,' Jeanne Allen, the founder of the Center for Education Reform, said of Clinton's claims about charters. 'She sounds like an aloof, elite candidate from a bygone era, before ed reform was a reality.'" (Lyndsey Layton, "Hillary Clinton Wades Into The Internal Democratic Debate Over Public Schools," The Washington Post , 11/11/15)

Editorial Boards Have Pointed Out Clinton's Hypocrisy On Charters

The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board: Clinton's Most Recent Move to The Left Is Her "Turn Against Charter Schools." "Hillary Clinton has moved to the left of President Obama on trade, energy, immigration, student loans, health care and entitlements. But even we're surprised by her latest move, which is to turn against charter schools as an engine of education opportunity." (Editorial, "Clinton Turns Against Charters," The Wall Street Journal, 11/11/15)

The Denver Post Editorial Board: "And So We Note That Hillary Clinton, Yet Again, Has Backpedaled Into The Arms Of Activists In The Democratic Base." "One of the depressing features of every political campaign is the way candidates distance themselves from previous positions taken when they felt at liberty to take a risk. And so we note that Hillary Clinton, yet again, has backpedaled into the arms of activists in the Democratic base - this time on education policy." (Editorial, "Hillary Clinton's Flip-Flop On Charter Schools," The Denver Post, 11/11/15)


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