November 13, 2015

Ed Boards Trash Clinton’s Untrue Charter School Smears

Hillary Clinton raised some eyebrows last week when she disavowed decades of support for charter schools (Clinton in 1998: “charter school can play a significant part in revitalizing and strengthening public schools today”) by criticizing them for not taking the “hardest-to-teach” students. Not only is the claim factually inaccurate (see below), it’s a complete reversal from her past statements on the topic.

Clinton isn’t known to shy away from a flip-flop, but voters curious about what motivated Clinton in this case should look no further than the endorsements she received from the National Education Association (NEA) and American Federation of Teachers (AFT). After receiving the endorsement from these unions, which strongly oppose charters, Clinton suddenly began criticizing charter schools.

For starts, what Clinton said was not true.

FactCheck.org: Clinton’s Charter School Exaggeration

“We take no position on the merits of charter schools. But we find that Clinton’s broad claim that “most charter schools” don’t accept or don’t keep the hardest-to-teach kids is not supported by the evidence.”

Clinton’s attack on charters did not go unnoticed by editorial boards across the country who spotted a politically-motivated flip-flop a mile away:

The Denver Post: Hillary Clinton’s flip-flop on charter schools

“But charters in a number of locales take more of the ‘hardest-to-teach’ kids than regular schools. And anyone here in Colorado who thinks charters habitually boot such students out hasn’t examined the record of charters serving low-income students in Denver — and often doing a better job with them, too.”

The Wall Street Journal: Clinton Turns Against Charters

Hillary Clinton has moved to the left of President Obama on trade, energy, immigration, student loans, health care and entitlements. But even we’re surprised by her latest move, which is to turn against charter schools as an engine of education opportunity.

Mrs. Clinton’s charter reversal suggests her Education Department would be a wholly owned union subsidiary. The losers will be the poor parents and children who Democrats claim to represent.

New York Post: Hillary Clinton’s bought-and-paid-for betrayal of charter schools

But the two national teachers unions — the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers — were first to endorse her latest presidential run.

So now Clinton’s script on charters might as well be written by AFT President Randi Weingarten (an informal campaign adviser).

But paying off a political debt comes first for Hillary Clinton. Of course, that’s how she gets to most of her positions these days.

Clinton’s say-or-do-anything campaign should be ashamed of itself for playing politics with education.