Random thoughts. Averages.

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.

11 thoughts on “Random thoughts. Averages.

  1. It’s also concerning that lack of schools would also help fill the private prison industry she was accepting money from-until it was found out.
    It’s funny how as First Lady she talked about how great public schools are and then sent Chelsea to private school.

  2. As much as I loathe the “school reform” crowd and corporate Dems who mention closing schools, we can’t form a circular firing squad that’ll put a Republican creature from the depths of hell into the White House. Bernie first and if it has to be… Hillary second.

    A bit of irony: As a kid, Hillary benefited from the National Defense and Education Act (1958) and its extension by the Kennedy and Johnson Administrations. It took the Cold the War and the launch of Sputnik to light a fire under the presidents’, senators’, and congressmen’s bottoms to give attention and federal aid to education at all levels. At that time, the federal government under wiser leadership didn’t punish teachers, school children, and school districts by labeling them as “failing.” The Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Johnson Administrations provided funds for schools across the country without questions asked. There were never these bizarre and grotesque “accountability” requirements that “No Child Left Behind” or “Race to the Top” demand in order to “support” education. Hillary should know this because she, Bill, an entire generation of kids, including yours truly, were direct beneficiaries of NDEA. If she doesn’t remember, we all need to remind her at every opportunity by calling or writing to her or her campaign that we’ve had enough of this B.S. “accountability” which has done incredible damage to public education for more than forty years. Damn it! Give generous federal support for all schools and all levels of education!!!

    Contact Hillary or her campaign at the following:
    letter — Office of Hillary Rodham Clinton Her campaign — Hillary for America
    120 West 45th Street Post Office Box 5256
    Suite 2700 New York, NY 10185-5256
    New York, NY 10036

    Campaign phone number: 646 854-1432 Twitter — @HillaryClinton

    E-mail: hillaryclintonoffice.com

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