Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton trumpeted her support on Tuesday for issues important to many teachers: less standardized testing, more pay and respect, and better resources for at-risk students.
She received much praise for those policy positions, but audible boos from delegates to the National Education Association for her backing of charter schools, The Washington Post reports.
Despite the displeasure of teachers at the NEA convention, Clinton stood her ground on the controversial issue:
“When schools get it right, whether they’re traditional public schools or public charter schools, let’s figure out what’s working and share it with schools across America. Rather than starting from ideology, let’s start from what’s best for our kids.”
Clinton, on record supporting charter schools and teachers unions, walks a political tightrope.
Charter schools are publicly funded, but operate privately. Opponents complain that charters drain resources from public schools that are struggling to meet the needs of underserved students. But supporters counter that they provide a good alternative to failing schools.
In her speech, Clinton made it clear that she’s not a blind advocate of charter schools. She has stated her opposition to for-profit charters and criticized them in the past for avoiding troubled students.
Still, the issue is so divisive that some teachers are lukewarm towards Clinton. The nation’s largest teachers union endorsed her back in October. However, some of its members didn’t go along with that decision, choosing instead to back Bernie Sanders, believing that he would halt the expansion of charter schools.
Nevertheless, The Post said Clinton holds other positions that please many educators. She’s promised to launch a “national campaign to elevate and modernize” the teaching profession. The candidate also said she supports some form of teachers’ student loan forgiveness.
SOURCE: Washington Post | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty, Twitter