Hillary Clinton with Eli Broad at the pre-ball dinner hosted by Broad
at the Inauguration Ball of Barack Obama on January 20, 2009.

Will the Real Hillary Clinton Please Stand Up?

by Ken Derstine

December 23, 2015

Hillary Clinton has caused a major scramble by her supporters after she spoke at a small high school outside Des Moines, Iowa. In her remarks she told the students at Keota High School on Tuesday, December 22,

This school district and these schools throughout Iowa are doing a better than average job. Now I wouldn't keep any school open that wasn't doing a better than average job. If a school is not doing a good job then, you know, that may not be good for the kids, but when you have a district that is doing a good job it seems kind of counterproductive to impose financial burdens on it.

Her political opponents have seized on this, claiming that she is in favor of closing almost half the schools in the country.

U.S. News and World Report came to her defense Wednesday, December 23, saying her remarks “were taken out of context”. Education writer Diane Ravitch agreed. Sounding like a Clinton campaign manager, Ravitch echoed the paper, saying.

She mis-spoke. Hillary understands that the federal government doesn’t close schools. Period. A mistake. A slip of the tongue. An unthinking bow to corporatist ideology. She was wrong and she knows it. She has to walk back this careless statement. We don’t need any more school closings. Such closings have had a disproportionately harmful affect on communities of color.  Talk about school support, school helping, not closings. That’s yesterday.

 So where does Clinton stand on the Broad method of closing “low-performing” public schools in low-income communities and turning them over to charters?

In a December 17th article in the Wall Street Journal, “Clinton Views on Charter Schools, Teacher Evaluations Upset Some Democrats” (You must do a Google search for the article title to get the full article.) it was reported that some neo-liberal Democrats are worried that Hillary Clinton isn’t fully committed to corporate education reform. Laura Meckler reported,

Their worries stem from skeptical comments she has made about charter schools and teacher evaluations, as well as her close relationship with teachers’ unions, who are critical of both.

There are a lot of deep-pocketed donors who are concerned, and they’re going to hang onto their checkbooks until there is more clarity,” said Whitney Tilson, managing partner of Kase Capital, who has given more than $150,000 to Democrats in recent years. He hasn’t donated any money to Mrs. Clinton or the super PAC supporting her this year “primarily because of this issue.”

Another major Democratic donor, Eli Broad, refused requests for contributions from another friendly super PAC, and only changed his mind after personal reassurances from former President Bill Clinton and campaign chairman John Podesta that Mrs. Clinton will support charter schools.

Besides the misleading statement that the leadership of the teachers’ unions are opposed to teacher evaluations based on standardized tests and charters, the article portrays Eli Broad and Bill Clinton as distant acquaintances.  On September 19, 2015, at the dedication of Eli Broad’s museum in Los Angeles, the LA Times Reported,

Of his friendship with the Broads, Clinton turned to them and asked,

“What year did you come and sit in the living room with me?” Edythe Broad noted that Clinton daughter Chelsea, now an active figure in the Clinton Foundation and the Clinton Global Initiative, had been a baby at the time and that Hillary Rodham Clinton, a Democratic presidential candidate and former secretary of State, had been Eli’s lawyer. After settling on 1983, Clinton said, “I looked up one day and Eli was in my living room, and my life has never been the same.” (Boldface added)

Far from being distant acquaintances, the Clinton’s have had a close relationship with Eli Broad for more than thirty years. [See my article “Eli Broad and the Clintons: Update of the Update” for the full details.]

It should also be pointed out that Mortimer Zuckerman, the chairman and editor-in-chief of the U.S. News and World Report (and publisher of the New York Daily News), was on the Broad Foundation Board of Directors for a number of years.

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This article has been published on Schools Matter.

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Also see:

Hillary Clinton: Vowing to Close Schools Not “Above Average”
Mercedes Schneider @ deutsch29 – December 22, 2015

Clinton's Math Problem
Cudrmudgucation - December 22, 2015
 

Context Does Not Absolve Clinton
Curmudgucation – December 23, 2015

Hillary Clinton: Still on the Hook
Mercedes Schneider @ deutsch29 – December 23, 2015

I Doubt Hillary Clinton Plans to Close Half of All Public Schools – But She Does Want to Close Some
Gadflyonthewallblog - December 23, 2015

Will Hillary Clinton go all in with us or Wall Street?
Cloaking Inequity - December 23, 2015 

Closing Schools Is Not An Educative Option 
Mitchell Robinson - December 23, 2013

Was Hillary misquoted? Taken out of context?
Mike Klonsky's Smalltalk Blog - December 23, 2015
Includes a report on Randi Weingarten's supporting role in the damage control.

Nothing New in Hillary's School Closing Comments -- Bill and Hillary Clinton: Over 30 Years of Ed Deform
Ed Notes Online - December 24, 2015

DFER: Trust Clinton To Betray Unions
Curmudgucation - January 11, 2016