Correction: This video is from 2008, not earlier this year as the original version of this post said.

Here’s a video of Bill Clinton talking about “big ideas” in education — here in the United States as well as internationally — at the 2008 Aspen Institute’s Idea’s Festival.

Some of what he says may surprise people who think he would have taken a very different reform road from President Obama.

For example, Clinton notes that in the audience are billionaires Eli and Edy Broad, whose foundation has donated many millions of dollars to support the opening of charter schools. Clinton said that the “Broad Foundation has probably spent more money than anybody in America, maybe even including the Gates Foundation, trying to improve public education in America, so you ought to ask him what he thinks when I leave.”


Plenty of people don’t see the Broad Foundation’s education investments in such a sanguine light. Broad is one of the members of what education historian Diane Ravitch dubbed “The Billionaire’s Boys Club” in her bestselling “The Death and Life of the Great American School System.” The “club,” which also boasts Bill Gates as a member, is populated by super-rich people who are putting fortunes into education to push their favorite agendas, which often involve privatizing public education. Their private preferences are bending public policy.

But I digress ... Back to Clinton.

One of his big ideas to help education internationally: “Put every single girl in the world in school.”

One of his big ideas for U.S. education: “We have to move toward somewhat local operational control but a national commitment to a longer school year, better trained and better paid teachers, to principals and superintendents who can actually be held accountable for results.”

Watch the video to see the rest.


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