It didn’t seem like the finest compliment when Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said at an Iowa school that the state's school districts are “better than average."
What followed, however, could be cause for concern for some school districts across the country.
“This school district and these schools throughout Iowa are doing a better-than-average job,” Clinton said Tuesday at Keota Junior-Senior High School in Keota, Iowa.
“Now, I wouldn’t keep any school open that wasn’t doing a better-than-average job.” Clinton continued.
Taken literally, that would mean shutting down as many as half of the school districts in the country. Moreover, it’s not clear a U.S. president could take such an action since school districts are locally run.
“If a school’s not doing a good job, then, you know, that may not be good for the kids, but when you have a district that is doing a good job, it seems kind of counterproductive to impose financial burdens on it,” Clinton continued.
The percentage of students performing at or above proficient in reading ranges from 6 percent to 41 percent among fourth-graders and from 7 percent to 33 percent among eighth-graders, according to the Nation’s Report Card, which is compiled by the National Assessment of Educational Progress and cited by the U.S. Department of Education.
The percentages performing at or above proficient in math ranges from 5 percent to 51 percent in fourth-grade and from 4 percent to 39 percent in eighth-grade among the school districts sampled.