Questions for Hillary

She Says She’s Not a Liberal

Hillary pledges to be a senator committed to education reform. I have been writing on education in this city for some 40 years, and one persistent reason why children fail is that teachers—as well as principals and superintendents—are not accountable when they fail in their professional responsibility to children. The United Federation of Teachers—a principal backer of Hillary—often speaks of accountability, but as Chancellor Harold Levy has discovered, union contract provisions make it exceedingly difficult to discharge a failing teacher. It can take many months, even years.

Will Hillary use her avowed dedication to children to convince the UFT to protect kids even at the expense of some of its members? I have witnessed superb educational malpractice that makes parents utterly frustrated. Whether she wins or loses the Senate race, Hillary could make a lasting contribution to basic justice for children by working to make failing teachers accountable.

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