In his semi-regular email to supporters, allies, and hate-readers, Whitney Tilson led one item with this subheading:
Hillary (and Bill) have a long history of breaking with the teachers’ unions, which bodes well:
Tilson is a leading light of DFER (Democrats for Education Reform), a group of faux Democrat, hedge fundy, union-hating, privateering reformsters. These are exactly the people who love Clinton when she's getting all Wall Street warm and corporate cozy, but who become alarmed when she starts talking crazy, like suggesting that charter schools don't actually serve all students.
But in his email, Tilson wants to re-assure everyone that Clinton can be counted on to break with unions just as soon as she's elected. Here are his historical supports:
…after Bill got elected governor four years later, many of his early boosters from labor felt betrayed.
Specifically, the teachers unions were infuriated over the couple’s
advocacy of an education reform proposal
that mandated teacher testing. The National Education Association and
its Arkansas affiliate worked against the Clintons after they backed the
measure in 1983.
— Hillary’s first significant public role was heading an education commission for Bill,
a precursor to her role as health care czar in his first term. The
efforts she supported were heartily endorsed by the business
community, including a dark-money nonprofit group funded by WalMart
founder Sam Walton. (Tom and Matea Gold explored this in part one of
their story on the Clinton money machine yesterday, which
you can read here.)
— Hillary was booed by teachers when she showed up at education forums as Arkansas First Lady to pitch her proposal.
“I believe the governor’s teacher testing bill has done
inestimable damage to the Arkansas teaching profession and to the image
of this state,” Peggy Nabors, the president of the Arkansas Education
Assn, wrote in a 1983 letter to her members. She called
it “a radical departure from what educators or the makers of
standardized test themselves believe is appropriate or fair.” She added
that the proposal “represents the final indignity” and closed by urging
teachers to “make a contribution to political candidates
who will support a more progressive education program.”
Lots of folks have suggested that Clinton can be trusted just about as far as you can throw the giant pile of money that Wall Street and corporate interests have invested in her. And I am one of them-- from where I sit, Clinton isn't any better for education than Jeb! unless you prefer to be smiled at while you're being gutted.
But it certainly tells us something about where we are and who she is that a group like DFER is out there re-assuring the money men that Clinton can be trusted to "break with" the teachers' unions, as if that's a basis for endorsing her. God, but 2016 is going to be a long year in politics.