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A.L. Brown a perfect venue to talk education

By Joanie Morris
Salisbury Post
KANNAPOLIS ó When former president Bill Clinton spoke at the A.L Brown High School Activity and Fitness Center, it seemed like the perfect setting to talk about a subject near and dear to his wife, who is running to be the next president of the United States.
Several of the things Clinton spoke about ó raising Pell grants to pay for two years of community college, letting public servants like teachers and police officers work off their loans in years of service rather than money, cracking down on private student loan companies ó were familiar echoes of what is said during Hillary Clinton’s campaign stops.
Former superintendent Ed Tyson and current Superintendent Dr. Jo Anne Byerly attended along with many teachers. One comment got thundering applause from the audience of educators.
“She does not believe No Child Left Behind is working,” Clinton said. “She thinks it should be changed.”
Clinton cited studies about the brain power of people on earth (“Ninety-eight percent of the people on earth have the brain power to learn 100 percent of what they need to know to survive in a global economy,” he said), and spoke on the achievement gap in the United States verses countries like Singapore.
“They invest money in making sure people know their stuff,” Clinton said about those other countries. In the United States, tests are administered and in the long run, both Clintons feel that road will lead to less knowledge.
“We need to close this achievement gap,” Clinton said. “No Child Left Behind will not get the job done. This deal is not working. It has to be changed.”
Rather than try to make everyone the same using tests, Clinton said his wife have another idea.
“We ought to look at what we’re doing better than everybody else,” he said. Using the analogy of three military groups, he asked if two were doing great, and the third was doing poorly, rather than take their money away, wouldn’t you try to use what the other two were doing and make the third better?
“Hillary thinks that we should pick 20 high schools, 20 middle schools and 20 elementary schools across the United States … figure out what they are doing right and put that in schools across America,” Clinton said amid applause. “This is an education program you can believe in.”
Contact Joanie Morris at 704-932-3336 or jmorris@salisburypost.com.

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