Politico reports what readers of this blog know very well: teachers are divided between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, even though the two national teachers’ unions were among the first to endorse Clinton.


The plus side of Sanders: He speaks to the anger and outrage that many teachers feel as a result of unrelenting attacks on the teaching profession and on public education. He can be expected to fight privatization and inequality.


The downside of Sanders: He has not been a member of the Democratic Party until now and if elected, would have few supporters in Congress to enact anything he proposes. While he has high poll numbers now, the Republican attack machine has thus far ignored him. They will drive his numbers down by calling him a communist and pulling every dirty trick in their arsenal. On education, he has been a member of the Senate committee that deals with education and voted for an amendment that would have preserved NCLB-style accountability under the control of the US Department of Education. His statement that Hillary is “not qualified” to be President was dreadful and petulant. Would he prefer Trump or Cruz?


The plus side of Clinton: She has broad experience in domestic and foreign affairs. She is ready to be President.


The downside of Clinton: She is closely associated with the neoliberals at the Center for American Progress who have been pushing Race to the Top, high-stakes testing, VAM, Common Core, and charters (school choice). Her campaign manager, John Podesta, is or was the leader of the CAP. She has not spoken out against any of these policies nor disassociated herself from the Bush-Obama test-and-punish regime. She might reappoint John King as Secretary of Education. She has been clear on every issue except education. Does she really think charter schools are public schools?


Since neither Clinton nor Sanders has given a major speech addressing K-12 education, we can’t be sure what they intend to do. Let’s hope they speak out soon and let us know where they stand on high-stakes testing, charters, vouchers, for-profit schools, privatization, teacher professionalism, tenure, and other issues that concern parents and teachers.


The bottom line: We cannot afford to permit an extremist like Ted Cruz (who despises public education and appeals to the Evangelical vote with his views on social issues) or a crude narcissist like Donald Trump (who evidently knows nothing foreign or domestic policy issues) to become President.


So, whether you vote for Sanders or for Clinton, be prepared to unite for the Democratic nominee if you care about the future of public education in America and maintaining the promise of American life for all our children.