Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton Wants Benevolent Bureaucrats to Bring More 'Structure' to Poor Kids' Lives

The candidate calls for longer school days and school years.


Here's Hillary Clinton at last night's Democratic "town hall" in South Carolina, answering a question about whether the school year should be longer:

"While we're at it, let's make sure those schools are all stocked with this book."
Balzer + Bray

There's a lot of research which shows that, for most middle-class or well-off kids, they get out of school in the spring or early summer…and then they do things over the summer that keep them learning. A lot of disadvantaged kids get out and they actually lose some of the learning that they've gained during the year. So I want very much to expand the school day and the school year, and provide more structure. Starting with kids who would be most benefited from it, but I am in favor of states looking at how they might do that for every student.

It sounds like an old argument for the allegedly uplifting effects of imperialism, though in this case she's calling not for colonizing territory but for colonizing time. In Clinton's worldview, what the disadvantaged need is to have "structure" imposed on them, and the way to impose that structure is to compel them to spend more time in institutions. (Notice that she isn't arguing here for, say, offering after-school or summer programs for families who want them. To "expand the school day and the school year" is to expand the hours and days that kids are coerced to be in school.)

By the way: How did we get from kids forgetting facts over the summer to calling for longer school days? Are they losing their learning overnight too?

For more on the War on Summer Vacation, go here.