So much is made about immigration and the hispanic vote. However, historically education has always been the most important issue for hispanics in the United States, even in the 2012 election. So if the hispanic vote is really all that important in 2016, and the democrats cannot with without it, are they on the right side of the most important issue for hispanics? Where do the Republicans sit? Can they take advantage?
Some of the numbers are staggering. According to the American Federation for Children, a mind blowing 91% of hispanics in Florida, Arizona, New Mexico, New Jersey and Nevada, believe there should be more choice and more school vouchers available to the general public.
Common Core will also play a large role in the education debate in 2016. While most hispanic organizations like La Raza are in favor of the controversial federal program, many hispanic parents oppose the standards. Nathalie Rey, a hispanic mother of three in Miami told Hispolitica:
I’ve seen school work get ridiculous under common core. I hope our next president will do something to get rid of it completely.
So let’s take a look at where each of the major presidential candidates on both sides are on the issue of education:
Hillary Clinton (D-NY):
I’ve been involved with schools now for 17 years, working on behalf of education reform. And I think we know what works. We know that getting classroom size down works. That’s why I’m for adding 100,000 teachers to the classroom. We know that modernizing and better equipping our schools works. And we know that high standards works. But what’s important is to stay committed to the public school system, not siphon off money, as my opponent would, with vouchers.
The common core standards in language arts and math is important because curriculum is developed in this kind of system where there’s common expectations. You’ll have one thousand different flowers blooming as it relates to curriculum. It won’t be homogenized, it will be diverse and alive which is what we need.
Voted NO on allowing vouchers in DC schools.
Vote to create a non-profit corporation to administer federally-funded vouchers for low-income children in the District of Columbia.
Voted NO on vouchers for private & parochial schools.
Vote to pass a bill to allow states to use certain federal funds designated for elementary and secondary education to provide scholarships, or vouchers, to low-income families to send their children to private schools, including religious schools.
We need to incentivize local school districts to offer more advanced placement courses and more vocational and career training. We need to give all parents, especially the parents of children with special needs, the opportunity to send their children to the school of their choice.
Now more than ever, quality public education is the key to equal opportunity and upward mobility in America. Yet our neediest children often attend the worst schools. While lifting the performance of all schools, we must place special emphasis on strengthening those institutions serving, and too often failing, low-income students.
We need a plan to recruit, retain, and reward great teachers while implementing a plan that removes burdensome, one-size-fits-all mandates. This will allow good schools to succeed and help us focus our efforts on turning around failing schools. Walker will expand charter and choice options by removing enrollment and eligibility caps on schools choice and virtual charter schools.
Ben Carson (R-MI):
School choice obviously plays a huge role [in making the education system more competitive]. I think having charter schools, having school vouchers, things of that nature are extremely good because unless you are competing for those students, it’s very likely you’re going to become complacent. Schools, and teachers, educators are no different than anybody else. People tend to respond to stimulation, and when there’s no stimulation, they tend to kind of relax. So we need to put the appropriate stimulation there to increase the competitive nature of education.
Ted Cruz (R-TX):
Cruz co-sponsored Resolution against Common Core:
- Whereas the development of the Common Core State Standards has transformed into an incentives-based mandate from the Federal Government;
- Whereas the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 prohibits the establishment of a national curriculum by the Department of Education;
- Whereas President Barack Obama and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced competitive grants through the Race to the Top program to adopt ‘internationally benchmarked standards and assessments that prepare students for success in college and the workplace’;
Hillary Clinton: NY Senate debate on NBC , Oct 28, 2000
Jeb Bush: ABC This Week 2013 series of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Oct 20, 2013
Marco Rubio: GOP Response to 2013 State of the Union Address , Feb 12, 2013
Martin O’Malley: The Hyde Park Declaration 00-DLC2 on Aug 1, 2000
Scott Walker: 2010 gubernatorial press release, “4th grade” , Sep 3, 2010
Ben Carson: NewsMaxTV: Carson on school choice , Apr 15, 2013
Ted Cruz: HRes.476 & SRes.345 14-SR345 on Feb 6, 2014