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Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Kirsten Gillibrand's clumsy attack on public education

I listened to Kirsten Gillibrand's announcement that she was going to run for president on the Colbert show and I have to say i was a little insulted by her education comment. 

One of the reason's she gave for running for president was she believes we should have better public schools for our kids because it shouldn't mater what block you grow up on.

Better public schools.

It shouldn't matter what block you grow up on.


Is she running as a democrat or a republican because there she parroted one of the major attack lines that the right has spouted over the last few years against public schools and why they say the privatization of our schools is so important.

What makes a public school bad? Is it a staff that doesn't care and doesn't do its job, or is it because a school is overwhelmed with needs and doesn't have the resources it needs to be successful. I would say it was the latter 999 times out of a thousand. 

You see even in our lowest performing schools, we have great teachers who show up day in and day out with their sleeves rolled up ready to work. I submit it is not schools that are failing society, it is society that has failed many of our schools especially in poor neighborhoods or neighborhoods of color.  

When she says we need better schools so it doesn't matter what block or neighborhood a child is from, she is either parroting what all the people on the right who attack public schools have said or she doesn't understand what the real issues are.

 So I just want to suggest to her and any serious candidate going forward that instead of attacking and blaming public schools, they say something like, I want all public schools to have the resources they need to be successful, because our kids, no matter from what block or neighborhood they come from deserve it.  

A candidate who says something like that, is a candidate I can get behind.  Gillibrand has her work cut out.


  1. That comment could mean that all the neighborhood schools should be GREAT. I know when the Republicans use that line, then they mean charters and vouchers BUT that leaves some kids behind. Of course, it would have been nice if she would make her position clear.

  2. She's talking about providing equal funding to every public school, so that schools in poorer areas have the same funding and resources as schools in wealthy areas. And that's the only interpretation that makes any sense. "What block you grow up on" applies to both growing up on a rich block and growing up on a poor block. The kid on the rich block should not have resources well beyond those of the kid on the poor block. Obviously, she is not suggesting that the kid on the rich block go to a charter school using vouchers.