Anyway, I always tell people of the story a Hillary supporter from Arkansas told me, that when Hillary Clinton was first lady of Arkansas she made it mandatory that teachers had to pass a test to become or remain a teacher. And that she was picketed for it, but she didn't care and neither did Bill, they stuck to their guns. I told this story often on the campaign trail and still mention it to people, so it was a pleasant surprise to hear her speak of it, all the way in India no less, when someone asked her about it.
MR. GOSWAMI: Secretary Clinton, I have one question to ask you before I take more questions from the audience, and that question takes me to a really vicarious pleasure that I have got when I read one of your statements, where you apparently said – and I am sure many of us who have been students at any stage, and all of us have been, would really get a sense of vicarious pleasure at your statement that there must be a one-time test for teachers as well. You said that there should be a one-time test for teachers. And if I am not mistaken – correct me if I am wrong – you said if they don’t pass the test, then fire them.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Yes.
MR. GOSWAMI: We don’t have one-time tests for teachers in India, Secretary Clinton. Did you manage to get that done --
SECRETARY CLINTON: Yes.
MR. GOSWAMI: -- in America and --
SECRETARY CLINTON: Not in America, but many years ago, when my husband was the governor of one of our states, Arkansas, which on the map is by Texas, we were very concerned about the low level of education in our state. My husband came from a family where he was the first to go to college, and yet his family believed in education, so they encouraged him and they made him study. And so he became academically successful and could follow his own path in life.
So my husband asked me to work on what we could do to make our education system better. And one of the concerns that I heard from people across our state was that there was such a disparity in the quality of teaching. There were some of the great teachers who were dedicated, who were there because they loved their work, and there were teachers who should not have been teaching because they didn’t know the subject matter, they didn’t seem to really be devoted to the task of teaching.
So I proposed a – what we called a teacher test. Now these teachers remember; they had gone to college and they had been given their certificates. But there were so many complaints about their teaching and their understanding of subject matter that we said we’re going to have a test. It was so controversial.
MR. GOSWAMI: It must have been.
SECRETARY CLINTON: It was extremely difficult. But we really stuck to our guns.
MR. GOSWAMI: Did they resist?
SECRETARY CLINTON: There was great resistance and great concern about it. We stuck to our guns. There was a test designed. And about 10 percent of the teachers failed it.
MR. GOSWAMI: Ten percent is a lot.
SECRETARY CLINTON: It’s a lot.
Oh, and I have to add this last quote.
Your passion is obvious, your commitment is deep, more power to you, and you’re always very popular in India, as your husband was and continues to be. And I’m sure that after this event when people approach you – the admiration for you will even grow further. -Mr. GoswamiAnd here is a brief article on Hillary's trip so far. The AP describes her as "wildly popular" in India.