Arkansas goes to India | Arkansas Blog

Arkansas goes to India

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NY Times' coverage of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's visit to India mentions her talk of Arkansas education standards. Turns out this is a reference to Mrs. Clinton's famous work in the 1983 Clinton administration education initiative, including a controversial teacher's test. A full account here. Excerpt:

...So my husband asked me to work on what we could do to make our education system better. And one of the concerns that I heard from people across our state was that there was such a disparity in the quality of teaching. There were some of the great teachers who were dedicated, who were there because they loved their work, and there were teachers who should not have been teaching because they didn’t know the subject matter, they didn’t seem to really be devoted to the task of teaching.
So I proposed a – what we called a teacher test. Now these teachers remember; they had gone to college and they had been given their certificates. But there were so many complaints about their teaching and their understanding of subject matter that we said we’re going to have a test. It was so controversial.
MR. GOSWAMI: It must have been.
SECRETARY CLINTON: It was extremely difficult. But we really stuck to our guns.
MR. GOSWAMI: Did they resist?
SECRETARY CLINTON: There was great resistance and great concern about it. We stuck to our guns. There was a test designed. And about 10 percent of the teachers failed it.

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