Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton on Monday called the Common Core curriculum’s implementation a “disaster,” but said she continues to support a uniform national education standard for the United States.
“I have always supported national standards,” Clinton said in a nearly hourlong question-and-answer session with Newsday’s editorial board in Melville.
Clinton noted that Common Core started off as a nonpartisan effort that was endorsed by the majority of state governors. She said its implementation likely led to the widespread frustration with the curriculum among parents and teachers.
“I think the rollout was disastrous ... the expectation that you could turn on a dime,” Clinton said. She said some states did not adequately train teachers in the new curriculum, or did not have materials for students when Common Core was rolled out.
Last week, more than 97,500 Long Island students opted out of state standardized tests.
Clinton said she supported tests if states “do it right.”
“We need better and fewer tests,” she said.
Asked if teacher evaluations should be tied to student testing performance, Clinton said “right now I’d have to say no,” given the questions about Common Core.
Speaking about teacher performance, Clinton said “we need more accountability measures, but let us connect them to what” teachers are facing in the classroom, such as dealing with students living in poverty or with mental health issues.
Asked by Newsday columnist Lane Filler if Clinton would have her baby granddaughter, Charlotte, take a standardized test or opt out, Clinton said she would have her granddaughter “take the test.”
Clinton noted that Charlotte’s mother, Chelsea Clinton, lives in New York City, where the opt-out rate “is much lower.”`