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Hillary Clinton Wades Into Internal Democratic Debate Over Public Schools

Hillary Rodham Clinton long skirted the internal Democratic Party conflict over the best way to improve public schools. She avoided the fight between teachers’ unions, which want heavier investment and less blame for educators, and those who believe nonunionized charter schools should be expanded and teachers held accountable for student achievement.

But Clinton’s neutrality has started to fray. By early October, she had pocketed presidential endorsements from both major teachers’ unions. Before she got the nod from the National Education Association, Clinton told a private gathering of NEA leaders that she wanted the country’s largest union to be “at the table, literally and figuratively,” as she formulates policy, according to excerpts included in an NEA publication.

At a town hall meeting in South Carolina on Saturday, Clinton was critical of public charter schools, saying “most” intentionally exclude or expel children who are difficult to educate.