Annotated Quick Look: Clinton v. Sanders on Key Education Issues

2016 Presidential Elections

October 6, 2015

By Charles Barone and Marianne Lombardo


clinton-bernie squares

With the first Democratic Presidential debate, hosted by CNN, just a week away, today we take a quick look at the two main Democratic Presidential candidates’ positions on K-12 education issues. This snapshot is based on information (or lack thereof) from both Secretary Clinton’s and Senator Sanders’ campaign websites as well as their voting records and public statements. There are nuances and qualifications to many of these positions. We’ll elaborate on those in the coming days.

Annotated K-12 Clinton v. Sanders


1. Campaign website:

2. Campaign website:

3. On Passage of the “No Child Left Behind Act,” Conference Report, U.S. Senate, 12/18/01., and on campaign website

4. On Passage of the “Every Child Achieves Act of 2015” (S. 1177) July 16, 2015. But wants to replace standardized testing with task-based assessments and wider criteria:;

5. On The Issues, remarks to NEA in Orlando, Florida Jul 5, 1999, remarks at Charter School Meeting, Washington DC Aug 4, 1998, and The Hyde Park Declaration 

00-DLC2 on Aug 1, 2000.

6. Yes on Passage of the Charter School Expansion Act of 1998, and 2016 presidential campaign website,, and roll call vote:, But “no” in a Q&A session with the Massachusetts Teachers Association Bargaining Summit, October 2nd, 2015. 

7. Proposed and passed National Teacher Corps, and introduced bill for federal funding for Teach for America.,

8. Sponsored two Amendments during October 20, 2011. HELP Committee SH-216,, that would “place scarlet letters on the chests of any educator who didn’t experience four or six years of a traditional education school experience” (in the words of Patrick Riccards,, but during testimony states “I’m a strong supporter of Teach for America”

9. On Passage of the “No Child Left Behind Act of 2001,”

10. On Passage of the “No Child Left Behind Act of 2001” First Voted “Yes,”, then “No,”

11. Campaign website.

12. Amendments sponsored during October 20, 2011 HELP Committee SH-216,

13. On Passage of the “No Child Left Behind Act,” Conference Report, U.S. Senate, 12/18/01.

14. Roll Call Vote for the Murphy Amendment requiring intervention in schools where students are consistently failing to meet benchmarks as a condition of federal funding,

15. Project Vote Smart’s analysis concludes “no,” but Senate page touts receipt of Early Learning competitive grants, efforts to assure preference for small, rural states in competitive grants, and continuation of 21st Century Learning grants;

16. Clinton remarks on April 14, 2015 at Kirkwood Community College:

17. Roll Call Vote for the Lee Amendment 2162,

18. Campaign website and history of education reform work beginning in Arkansas and throughout career:;

19. Voted against Amendment to “end Federal Common Core mandate,”