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Hillary Clinton on Education

Democratic Jr Senator (NY)


Teacher testing only for new teachers

LAZIO: Mrs. Clinton said that she was for teacher testing. Well, but only for new teachers. Iím for teacher competency examinations for teachers whether theyíre new teachers, but more importantly teachers that have been in the system for some time. I donít understand why you would not want to have examinations for teachers that were already in the system that are perhaps failing our children.

Q: Is it true what he says - that youíre for testing new teachers but not teachers who are already in the system?

CLINTON: Thatís right. And thatís 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 donít measure up would no longer be in the classroom.

Source: (X-ref Lazio) NY Senate debate on NBC Oct 28, 2000

Arkansas education: improvement against great odds

LAZIO: In Arkansas, when you had responsibility for education, the student performance when you left was at the bottom of the barrel. Spending was up. Taxes were up.

CLINTON: The work that was done in Arkansas received numerous awards and praise, because we really started something that Iím very proud of. And test scores went up in third grade and sixth grade. High school graduation went up. The work was done against great odds, in a very poor state.

LAZIO: I have a very different perspective on your record in Arkansas. And I would just urge the voters not to rely on what Iím saying, but to look it up.

CLINTON: Iím not here to defend Arkansas. Iím here to run for the Senate to represent New York.

LAZIO: I realize that you donít want to talk about Arkansas because that experience was a disaster for Arkansas.

CLINTON: Iím happy to talk about it if thatís what you want to spend your time talking about.

LAZIO: Thatís your record, Mrs. Clinton. You canít run away from your record.

Source: (X-ref Lazio) NY Senate debate on NBC Oct 28, 2000

Testing only new teachers respects professionalism

LAZIO [to Clinton]: Why you would say to a new teacher that just came out of school and has learned the most current up-to-date methodology for teaching-why you would say teacher testing is OK for them but itís not OK for somebody thatís been out there and teaching for 15 years and may have lost touch with their ability to use the latest techniques. And I think itís because in the end Iím not trapped by the status quo. Iím not trapped by the teachersí unions, which I think Mrs. Clinton is.

Q: Are you trapped by the teachers unions?

CLINTON: No. In fact Iím very much in line with what I think will work and what experts in the field think. You know, Iím a lawyer. I had to take a bar exam. Mr. Lazioís a lawyer. He took a bar exam and he wasnít tested every five years. I think teachers are professionals and should be treated as professionals. Thatís why I believe that we should test teachers in the beginning to make sure that when they got their teaching degree, that theyíre qualified.

Source: (X-ref Lazio) NY Senate debate on NBC Oct 28, 2000

Vouchers would take money from public schools

Q: Why donít you support vouchers for low-income parents?

CLINTON: I could not support vouchers that would take money away from schools where teachers are in partitioned hallways, where the teacher has the only textbook in the classroom. If we can get class size down, if we can provide qualified teachers, we can make a difference. I support adding 100,000 teachers to lower class size. I support the bipartisan school construction funding authority that would permit New York to have school construction without raising taxes.

LAZIO: I have voted twice to support hiring additional teachers. Under my plan, New York would not get shortchanged. Under Mrs. Clintonís plan, New Yorkers would be subsidizing Southern states. I think itís immoral to force a child to go to a school where they canít learn. Poor parents want to have the choice to give their children the education that I want for my children. I trust parents to make that decision, and thatís a major philosophical difference.

Source: Senate debate in Manhattan Oct 8, 2000

Reforms: teacher corps; more federal funding; modernize

Source: Clinton-Lazio debate, Buffalo NY Sep 13, 2000

Buffalo teacherís strike inappropriate; hope for negotiation

Q: Here in Buffalo, union teachers are illegally on strike at this moment. The school board is strapped for funds, and both parents and students are caught right in the middle. Do you support their current job action even though itís illegal under New Yorkís Taylor Law?

CLINTON: Well, I am hoping that theyíre negotiating and will be back in the classroom full-time without any other problems. The children deserve that and we need to get education started this year. Iím very much committed to doing everything I can to move the education agenda forward. And I do support the idea that the teachers should be working and their action against the Taylor Law is illegal, and I do not believe that thatís appropriate.

LAZIO: I am opposed to teachers striking where it is against the law. In this case, it has been deemed illegal. They need to get back to the classroom, and we should put as our first priority, teaching our children.

Source: Clinton-Lazio debate, Buffalo NY Sep 13, 2000

Opposes merit pay for individual teachers

Merit pay to individual teachers would discourage teachers from helping troubled students and would create a distorted competition among teachers. I donít think thatís a very good way to inspire teachers. We want our best teachers to work with the kids who are the hardest to teach. If teachers are going to be told that the people who look better on a test are the ones who are going to get them rewarded in salary or compensation, why would anyone take on the kids who are harder to teach?
Source: New York Times, Page A25 Apr 6, 2000

Supports merit pay for entire schools

I could support merit pay awarded to entire schools rather than individual teachers. I also support pay for performance. This extra pay would be given to teachers who take on additional responsibilities like serving as mentors to other teachers.
Source: New York Times, Page A25 Apr 6, 2000

Scholarships for teachers who go to urban schools

The first lady offered a menu of proposals for schools. She called for higher salaries for teachers. She restated her support for providing four-year scholarships to teachers who promise to work in inner-city schools. She called for more federal spending to hire teachers and to repair run-down schools. She said she would work to ensure passage of a $29 billion federal bill aimed at repairing and modernizing public schools.
Source: Adam Nagourney, New York Times Mar 12, 2000

Increase resources to meet increased standards

Yes, we need to end social promotion. Social promotion-peers are allowed to graduate without consideration for academic performance. But what good does it do to raise the bar if we donít lift up our young people to be able to vault across it. You cannot raise standards without increasing the resources needed to meet those standards.
Source: Adam Nagourney, New York Times Mar 12, 2000

Pushed teacher testing in Arkansas

[In 1983, while chairing a committee to improve Arkansasí education system, then ranked 50th in the nation], Hillary snapped up the idea of higher standards for teachers which conservatives in the legislature were pushing. ďWhy donít we have a test for teachers and fire the ones that fail?Ē she suggested.
Hillary spearheaded a requirement for a onetime teacher examination. She pushed on to introduce a consumer rights approach to education, and he concept of continuing education for educators.
Source: Hillaryís Choice by Gail Sheehy, p.152-153 Dec 9, 1999

AR ed reform: mandate kindergarten, no social promotion

Source: Hillaryís Choice by Gail Sheehy, p.153 Dec 9, 1999

Solemn vow never to abandon our public schools

Since 1983, I have been a vigorous advocate of reforming & fixing schools that do not work. I have seen that we do know how to turn around failing schools. What we have too often lacked is the staying power & the will to deliver on what we know would make a difference. But if we are to make that difference, then we have to make a solemn vow never to abandon our public schools or the children who attend them, but to instead redouble our efforts to pursue strategies that we know can make a difference.
Source: Remarks to NEA in Orlando, Florida Jul 5, 1999

Hold kids to high standards, starting at home

First and foremost, we have to expect every single child to succeed and we have to hold every one of them to high academic standards. There should be no exceptions, no excuses, to our solemn commitment that every child can learn; every child deserves to be challenged, to have their imaginations sparked. That is not just the task in our schools; it has to start in our homes with parents and family members who value education.
Source: Remarks to NEA in Orlando, Florida Jul 5, 1999

Address teacher shortage with salary increases

Weíre facing a critical teacher shortage-weíre going to have to recruit more teachers. But I agree with the NEA president that thereís not only a teacher shortage, thereís a respect shortage and a salary shortage as well. There is no way in todayís complicated, information-overdrive world that weíre going to get and keep those in the teaching profession to carry on the tradition of public education, unless [they] receive the salaries that [their] important work deserves. Weíre going to have to recruit more teachers. I agree with the Presidentís proposal that we expand the already successful Troops to Teachers program. We should also provide loan forgiveness to new teachers committed to teaching in hard-to-serve areas. But we cannot lower the standards in this recruitment drive, and I am very much in agreement with the proposal that states be required to phase out emergency certification and improve state teacher certification systems.
Source: Remarks to NEA in Orlando, Florida Jul 5, 1999

Teachers need more peer consulting & more recognition

1 out of 3 new teachers leaves the first year, and in some urban areas itís 1 out of 2. Weíve got to make sure that our newly minted teachers teach in fields that they are prepared in; and that we not give the toughest assignments to such young teachers. We also have to provide quality, ongoing professional development. And teachers need the time to prepare their courses, consult with their peers about the strategies that work, and be recognized & rewarded for your knowledge and your skills.
Source: Remarks to NEA in Orlando, Florida Jul 5, 1999

Social promotion cheats our children

[We should] call for an end to social promotion. We really do cheat our children if we continue to promote them to the next grade if they donít have the necessary skills and knowledge to do the work required. We do them a terrible disservice if we set the bar of achievement higher and then we donít provide the help and resources needed to enable them to catch up. Weíve got to do more to give every child the chance to reach the pride of accomplishment.
Source: Remarks to NEA in Orlando, Florida Jul 5, 1999

More after-school; smaller classes

We need extended learning time. We need after-school and summer programs. We need smaller classroom sizes. Reducing class size is one of the most critical investments we can make, not only in our childrenís future, but in our teachersí ability to succeed. Too many teachers have to spend more time keeping order, dealing with personal problems, trying to understand what one child out of 30 or 35 needs, than maintaining high academic standards for the entire classroom.
Source: Remarks to NEA in Orlando, Florida Jul 5, 1999

Read to young kids 20-30 minutes daily

The early years of development are critical to successful learning later on. A parent is a childís first teacher. If family members would read to their children just 20 or 30 minutes a day, it would literally revolutionize American education. And stand with me in pushing for universal access to quality, affordable preschool programs for every child. And that includes Head Start, home visitations, high quality child care, early Head Start-whatever it takes to be well-prepared for school.
Source: Remarks to NEA in Orlando, Florida Jul 5, 1999

Entire school staff should focus on school safety

Too many children bring guns to school, too many children believe that violence & aggression is the way to solve problems. Teachers & principals need help. Everyone who works in a school-from the custodians, or the counselors, or the teacherís aids- everyone needs help in knowing how to target those children who need extra help & make sure they get it; to diffuse difficult situations; to provide cooling off periods; and to remove from schools those students who are disrupting the learning of others.
Source: Remarks to NEA in Orlando, Florida Jul 5, 1999

Metal detectors at school are not much of an intrusion

Q: How do you draw the line between bringing in security and students feeling violated? A: The metal detector is much less intrusive than having random searches. I think people feel that after a while that metal detectors didnít become much of an intrusion-itís like getting on an airplane. But thatís not the real problem. We have to protect kids, but weíve got to create a climate in which kids feel free to seek out help, kids feel that theyíve got support if theyíve got problems.
Source: ABCís ďGood Morning AmericaĒ Jun 4, 1999

Arts education is needed in our schools

Art education is needed in our schools. The University of California at Irvineís ground-breaking research demonstrates that instruction in the arts, and particularly instrumental music, enables a child to enhance their reasoning, their spatial understanding, and their analytical abilities. This is why supporting arts education is not only the right thing to do, but it is the smart thing for our nation.
Source: Recognizing the Power of the Arts in Education Speech Sep 17, 1998

Give kids after-school activities to prevent gangs

One of the best ways to combat juvenile crime is to give kids something positive to do after school. Letís follow Houston, where children play golf and soccer after school. Their mentors are coaches and teachers, not gang leaders. We also have a responsibility to protect our children at home. Guns are the fourth leading cause of accidental deaths among children. Almost half of American households have guns, but often, instead of being locked up, they are merely hidden or left in a drawer.
Source: Column: ďTalking it OverĒ Apr 20, 1998

Supports structured inner-city schools, with uniforms

I have advocated for highly structured inner-city schools. I have advocated uniforms for kids in inner city schools. I have advocated that we have to help structure peopleís environment who come from unstructured, disorganized, dysfunctional family settings. Because if you do not have any structure on the outside, it is very difficult to internalize it on the inside.
Source: Speech at Drew University, Madison, NJ May 18, 1996

Passing illiterate students is educational fraud

[A school that] passes illiterate students commits educational fraud. There is a feeling of urgency and a need for changes in education. If we do not seize the opportunity we have now, we will go backward.

The road to being someone in this society starts with education, and we intend to be sure that every child in this state is somebody. Because weíre going to give them every chance we can to develop their minds so they can play a role in this state to make it the kind of place it needs to be.

Source: Unique Voice, p. 32-33: Educational Standards Committee Sep 6, 1983


Hillary Clinton on School Choice

More teachers, smaller classes, no vouchers

Iíve been involved with schools now for 17 years, working on behalf of education reform. And I think we know what works. We know that getting classroom size down works. Thatís why Iím for adding 100,000 teachers to the classroom. We know that modernizing and better equipping our schools works. And we know that high standards works. But whatís important is to stay committed to the public school system, not siphon off money, as my opponent would, with vouchers.
Source: NY Senate debate on NBC Oct 28, 2000

Vouchers drain money from public schools

Q: Do you support vouchers for private schools?

CLINTON: Iíve visited schools throughout the state and some of them are among the finest in the world that you could find anywhere. But others are overcrowded, under-resourced. Thatís why I put forth a plan to try to get the teachers that we need and to provide the funds that are required for modernizing our schools, as well as setting high standards, making them safe from violence. I do not support vouchers. And the reason I donít is because I donít think we can afford to siphon dollars away from our underfunded public schools.

LAZIO: I believe that itís immoral to ask a child to go to a school where they canít learn or where theyíre not safe. 80 percent of African-American and Hispanic parents feel that they need it. Why should we trap poor kids in failing schools simply because the teachers unions wonít agree with it?

Source: Clinton-Lazio debate, Buffalo NY Sep 13, 2000

Fight with Gore for public schools; no voucher ďgimmicksĒ

[Gore] will make education his priority. I will fight with him; I will be by his side as we fix our public schools. I will be by his side as we fix crumbling schools, as we put more teachers in our classroom to lower class size, as we improve the quality of education. We know that [education] is not the priority of the Bush-Giuliani team. The other team, they want to talk about gimmicks like vouchers.
Source: Adam Nagourney, New York Times Mar 12, 2000

Vouchers will not improve our public schools

I know there are some who believe that vouchers are the way to improve our public schools; I believe they are dead wrong. There is simply no evidence that vouchers improve student achievement. Weíve been experimenting with vouchers in some jurisdictions for a couple of years-weíve found no evidence that these have made any difference in student achievement. But what they have done is to divert much-needed public funds for the few and have weakened the entire system.
Source: Remarks to NEA in Orlando, Florida Jul 5, 1999

Letís build up our schools-not tear them down

We know a lot more today than we knew five or, certainly, 10 years ago about what we need to do to marshal the resources to make every school that successful. So letís build up our schools-not tear them down. And letís make sure that everyone has the same goal in mind-to make our public schools and our public school students the best in the entire world.
Source: Remarks to NEA in Orlando, Florida Jul 5, 1999

Charter schools provide choice within public system

I stand behind the charter school/public school movement, because parents do deserve greater choice within the public school system to meet the unique needs of their children. Slowly but surely, weíre beginning to create schooling opportunities through the public school charter system-raising academic standards, empowering educators. When we look back on the 1990s, we will see that the charter school movement will be one of the ways we will have turned around the entire public school system.
Source: Remarks to NEA in Orlando, Florida Jul 5, 1999

Charters meet needs of failing public school students

Charter schools can play a significant part in revitalizing and strengthening schools by offering greater flexibility from bureaucratic rules, so that parents, teachers, and the community can design and run their own schools, and focus on setting goals and getting results. Many of these schools are meeting the needs of students who had trouble succeeding in more traditional public schools. Every child deserves a quality public education as part of their American birthright.
Source: Remarks at Charter School Meeting, Washington DC Aug 4, 1998

Vouchers siphon off much-needed resources

Charter schools are a way of bringing teachers and parents and communities together-instead of other efforts-like vouchers-which separate people out-siphon much needed resources; and weakening the school systems that desperately need to be strengthened.
Source: Remarks at Charter School Meeting, Washington DC Aug 4, 1998

Parents can choose, but support public schools

I believe strongly in a parentís right to choose the best education for his/her child. We have a proud tradition of parochial and private education in America. We also know that the majority of children are educated in the public education system. So we have to support the public education system whether or not our children are in it or whether or not we have children. The public education system is a critical investment for the well-being of all of us.
Source: Unique Voice, p.173 Feb 3, 1997

Voted YES on $52M for "21st century community learning centers".

To increase appropriations for after-school programs through 21st century community learning centers. Voting YES would increase funding by $51.9 million for after school programs run by the 21st century community learning centers and would decrease funding by $51.9 million for salaries and expenses in the Department of Labor.
Reference: Amendment to Agencies Appropriations Act; Bill S Amdt 2287 to HR 3010 ; vote number 2005-279 on Oct 27, 2005

Voted YES on $5B for grants to local educational agencies.

To provide an additional $5 billion for title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965. Voting YES would provide:
Reference: Elementary and Secondary Education Amendment; Bill S Amdt 2275 to HR 3010 ; vote number 2005-269 on Oct 26, 2005

Voted YES on shifting $11B from corporate tax loopholes to education.

Vote to adopt an amendment to the Senate's 2006 Fiscal Year Budget Resolution that would adjust education funding while still reducing the deficit by $5.4 billion. A YES vote would:
Reference: Kennedy amendment relative to education funding; Bill S AMDT 177 to S Con Res 18 ; vote number 2005-68 on Mar 17, 2005

Voted YES on funding smaller classes instead of private tutors.

Vote to authorize a federal program aimed at reducing class size. The plan would assist states and local education agencies in recruiting, hiring and training 100,000 new teachers, with $2.4 billion in fiscal 2002. This amendment would replace an amendme
Reference: Bill S1 ; vote number 2001-103 on May 15, 2001

Voted YES on funding student testing instead of private tutors.

Vote to pass an amendment that would authorize $200 million to provide grants to help states develop assessment systems that describe student achievement. This amendment would replace an amendment by Jeffords, R-VT, which would allow parents of under-per
Reference: Bill S1 ; vote number 2001-99 on May 10, 2001

Voted YES on spending $448B of tax cut on education & debt reduction.

Vote to reduce the size of the $1.6 trillion tax cut by $448 billion while increasing education spending by $250 billion and providing an increase of approximately $224 billion for debt reduction over 10 years.
Reference: Bill H Con Res 83 ; vote number 2001-69 on Apr 4, 2001

Rated 82% by the NEA, indicating pro-public education votes.

Clinton scores 82% by the NEA on public education issues

The National Education Association has a long, proud history as the nation's leading organization committed to advancing the cause of public education. Founded in 1857 "to elevate the character and advance the interests of the profession of teaching and to promote the cause of popular education in the United States," the NEA has remained constant in its commitment to its original mission as evidenced by the current mission statement:

To fulfill the promise of a democratic society, the National Education Association shall promote the cause of quality public education and advance the profession of education; expand the rights and further the interest of educational employees; and advocate human, civil, and economic rights for all.
In pursuing its mission, the NEA has determined that it will focus the energy and resources of its 2.7 million members toward the "promotion of public confidence in public education." The ratings are based on the votes the organization considered most important; the numbers reflect the percentage of time the representative voted the organization's preferred position.
Source: NEA website 03n-NEA on Dec 31, 2003

Other candidates on Education: Hillary Clinton on other issues:
Pat Buchanan
George W. Bush
Al Gore
Ralph Nader

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