Hillary Clinton, widely viewed as the prohibitive favorite for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, emphasized early childhood issues, education, and income inequality as central campaign issues during a stop in Iowa yesterday.
Clinton announced her candidacy on April 12. At an event in Iowa yesterday, Ms. Clinton identified strengthening communities and families as one of four primary “fights” that she will emphasize during her candidacy. The campaign also named Ann O’Leary, an early education and children and families expert at Next Generation, as a senior campaign policy advisor.
The campaign will also reportedly emphasize income inequality, an issue that has also been a focus for several Republican candidates for president.
“I think it’s fair to say that as you look across the country, the deck is still stacked in favor of those already at the top,” she told NBC News. “And there’s something wrong with that. There’s something wrong when CEOs make 300 times more than the typical worker.”
Clinton also made several comments about education policy, according to the Telegraph Herald, a local Iowa news site:
She said she “fully supports” President Barack Obama’s plan to provide free community college but noted that other costs could still play a prohibitive role in college attendance.On the issue of primary education, Clinton criticized No Child Left Behind, the signature education policy accomplishment of former President George W. Bush’s administration. She voted for the policy as a U.S. senator, but she said there is “a lot of frustration” with the law.
“There were a lot of goals that were important there, but I think we’ve learned what works and what doesn’t work so well,” Clinton said.
Clinton also spoke about the adoption of Common Core education standards in states across the country. She said Iowa understands the need for such policy but many states “don’t understand the value” of the standards.
“When I think about the really unfortunate argument that’s been going on around Common Core, it’s very painful because the Common Core started off as a bipartisan effort. It was actually nonpartisan,” Clinton said. “I think part of the reason why Iowa may be more understanding of this is you’ve had the Iowa Core for years.”
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