During her first official campaign event in Iowa earlier this week, former Secretary of State and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton praised Common Core and referred to children’s education as a “non-family enterprise.” Clinton’s controversial statements about education, which were captured by C-SPAN, came in response to a question from a participant about how to offer a quality education throughout the U.S.
Clinton initially responded to the question about how to fix the U.S. educational system by praising Common Core. She then said that families today are too “negative” about the current system, a system Clinton described as “the most important non-family enterprise” in the country. After noting what she described as “unfortunate” opposition to Common Core, Hillary Clinton also blithely dismissed the concerns of Common Core opponents by saying they just “do not understand the value” of the controversial top-down curriculum:
Although Clinton said there shouldn’t be “two tiers of education” in the U.S., she opposes school choice, which would help parents in failing school districts send their children to better schools. Her comment that children’s education is a “non-family enterprise” is also likely to enrage families who believe that parents should be key players in the education of their own children.
Here’s a transcript of Clinton’s remarks from the video:
Hillary Clinton: You know, what I think about the really unfortunate argument that has been going on around Common Core, it’s very painful because the Common Core started off as a bipartisan effort. It was actually nonpartisan. It wasn’t politicized. It was to try to come up with a core of learning that we might expect students to achieve across our country, no matter what kind of school district they were in, no matter how poor their family was, that there wouldn’t be two tiers of education. Everybody would be looking at what would be learned doing their best to achieve that
I think part of the reason Iowa may be more understanding of this is you have had the Iowa core for years. The U.S. had a system plus the Iowa Assessment Test. I think I’m right in saying that I took those when I was in elementary school. The Iowa tests. So that Iowa has had a testing system based on a core curriculum for a really long time. You see the value of it. You understand why that helps you organize your whole education system.
And a lot of states, unfortunately, haven’t had that. They do not understand the value of a core in the sense, a Common Core, yes, of course, you can figure out the best way in your community to try to reach — but your question is a larger one. How do we end up at a point where we are so negative about the most important non-family enterprise in the raising of the next generation which is how our kids are educated?