This clip of Hillary is making the social media rounds this morning.
I will tell you whose Facebook news feed it’s on.
Every teacher I know.
They are NEA and AFT members who may well be wondering why our leadership rushed their endorsement of her.
They are math teachers who wonder what Hillary was doing when she attended math class at nearby Maine South High School in suburban Park Ridge.
They are shaking their heads by her misuse of averages.
On the one hand, this is just a case of Trump Mouth.
“Closing schools that aren’t performing better than average,” is a practical impossibility since as soon as you close the ones below the average you have created a new group that are below the average.
On the other hand, it is red meat to the corporate reform crowd in the Democratic Party.
The truth of the matter is that labeling public schools, teachers and students as failures is Democratic Party policy at both the local and national level.
Keeping schools open or closed does not really fall under the job description of the president.
That didn’t keep Obama’s Secretary of Education from creating policies that encouraged the practice of closing schools.
And stupid math has shown its ugly head before. No Child Left Behind demanded 100% of students be at grade level by 2014.
“Each State shall establish a timeline for adequate yearly progress. The timeline shall ensure that not later than 12 years after the end of the 2001-2002 school year, all students … will meet or exceed the State’s proficient level of academic achievements on the State assessments …”
Not only didn’t that happen, it couldn’t. Many of the states’ assessments are normed, with some students necessarily falling above and below an average.
Garrison Keiller famously skewered this notion years ago when he described the fictional town of Lake Wobegon as a place where “all the children are above average.”
Since the NEA and AFT are pumping a ton of money into Hillary’s campaign, maybe Presidents Lily Eskelsen Garcia and Randi Weingarten can pull her aside with a little math tutoring.
The more difficult job will be to get Democrats to stop with the school closings, particularly those that target communities of color.
It is a measure of how much Democratic and Republican Party politics have become a Bizarro World that candidates like Clinton consider promising to close schools rather than open them is the what you say to get elected.