Monday, May 16, 2016

Hillary Clinton Shows How We've Changed The Way We Talk About Teachers | ThinkProgress

Hillary Clinton Shows How We've Changed The Way We Talk About Teachers | ThinkProgress:

Hillary Clinton Shows How We’ve Changed The Way We Talk About Teachers

During a speech for New York State United Teachers last month, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton did more than offer a few vague platitudes about the selflessness of teachers. She vowed to launch a “national campaign” to improve the teaching profession.
“One of my main goals as president will be to launch a national campaign to modernize and elevate the profession of teaching. To reach out to encourage more talented young people to become teachers. To reach out and encourage more talented mid-career professionals to do the same,” Clinton said.
So far, Clinton’s statements on education have been fairly limited, in part thanks to the very few education-specific questions she has been asked during the Democratic debates. We do know that she has been supportive of Common Core state standards, saying they allow states to “organize your entire school system,” though she also advocates for “better and fewer tests,” called New York’s rollout of the standards “disastrous,” and said those tests shouldn’t be tied to New York teacher evaluations, according to an interview with Newsday. When it comes to early childhood education, Clinton has introduced a universal pre-K plan.
But her interest in bolstering the teaching profession by urging that states work on increasing teacher pay, improving recruitment, and provide more funding for public schools is the part of her education platform that represents a bigger change in how Democrats talk about teachers.

How we talk about teachers — and how it’s changing

Some of Clinton’s critics on the both the right and left have argued that the American Federation of Teachers endorsed her too early in the presidential campaign and it’s important to remember that not all teachers support Clinton.
But it’s important to recognize that, up until recently, Republicans and Democrats were taking a similar tone when talking about teachers. Instead of advocating for placing more trust in teachers, giving them more autonomy, paying them better salaries, and minimizing the extent to which test scores are tied to teacher evaluations, politicians were focused on holding teachers “accountable” — and that conversation rarely acknowledged the few resources teachers were provided in struggling public schools.
In the past few years, both Democratic and Republican politicians have been engaged in heated battles with teachers unions over issues like tying teacher evaluations to test scores.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D), wanted standardized testing to make up 40 percent of the rubric for teacher evaluations, which was one of the motivators for the 2012 Chicago teachers strike. His relationship with teachers unions has not improved over time.Hillary Clinton Shows How We've Changed The Way We Talk About Teachers | ThinkProgress:

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