Donald Trump and the Future of Education

Nov 10, 2016

By Emily Deruy

I’ll be honest; I’d pre-written a piece on what a Clinton presidency might mean for education. The polls pointed in her direction and she’s been talking about children and schools for years, meaning there was plenty to mull. I’d interviewed a number of both conservative and liberal education wonks who had a general idea of what to expect and a relatively uniform belief that she would work across the aisle.

Now, what happens education-wise under Donald Trump’s administration is unclear.

What he’s said on the campaign trail about schools and students obviously won’t transfer directly into policy, but his words offer clues. Will Trump shutter the U.S. Education Department entirely, as he’s suggested? That seems highly unlikely, but there’s a very real chance he’ll scale back its scope drastically. Looking at the big picture, with Republicans controlling the White House, Senate, and House of Representatives, more decision-making power is likely to be transferred back to states and local governments. And Trump is likely to push what he’s called a “market-driven” approach to education. That makes civil-rights groups and many Democrats who see the federal government as something of a safety net for vulnerable low-income students and children of color nervous.

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12 comments on “Donald Trump and the Future of Education

  • It sounds like another case of much wish-thinking and very little in the way of specific plans or actual substance, to critically evaluate.

    Just the sort of stuff the ignorant self-deceiving dreamers love to vote for, throwing away what they have from Obama in exchange for some whimsical illusion of something better!

    This aspect of human stupidity is not new!
    There are various stories from history illustrating it!

    “The Dog and the Bone” is a fable ascribed to Aesop that counsels being content with what one has.

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  • President-elect Donald Trump appoints Betsy DeVos, a conservative activist and billionaire philanthropist who has pushed forcefully for private school voucher programs nationwide, as his nominee for Education Secretary, according to a person close to DeVos.

    Trump’s pick underlines his promises on the campaign trail to put “school choice” — the expansion of taxpayer-funded charter schools and vouchers for private and religious schools — at the center of his efforts on education.

    The Cons of School Vouchers

    Those who oppose a school voucher system often present the following arguments against vouchers:

    School vouchers take money away from the public school system – and budgets currently are so tight in many school districts across the country, additional cuts could seriously undermine the value of public education today.

    Because many private schools are religious, the allowance of using tax dollars to pay for private schools that subscribe to a particular faith is a blatant violation of the constitutional separation of church and state.

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  • “To hell in a hand basket.”

    Laurie, you don’t mince words.

    (I have a nice comment on the Trump Understands thread. )

    All alone this week. Feeling horrible.

    Devos: an ideological anti public school pro privatization corporate-agenda driven monster (with a nice smile).

    Nikki Haley. A compulsive ultra-conservative liar – a tea party freak! Ben Carson!

    Q: what do the conservatives want? (That’s a very large question. Any thoughts?)

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  • Dan

    what do the conservatives want?

    Wiki says:

    American Conservatism is a broad system of political beliefs in the United States that is characterized by respect for American traditions, support for Judeo-Christian values, economic liberalism, anti-communism, advocacy of American exceptionalism, and a defense of Western culture from perceived threats posed by “creeping socialism”, moral relativism, multiculturalism, and liberal internationalism. Liberty is a core value, with a particular emphasis on strengthening the free market, limiting the size and scope of government, and opposition to high taxes and government or labor union encroachment on the entrepreneur. American conservatives consider individual liberty, within the bounds of conformity to American values, as the fundamental trait of democracy, which contrasts with modern American liberals, who generally place a greater value on equality and social justice.[1][2]

    The conservatives described above merely annoy me. That’s not what we’re dealing with now. The reactionaries that now go by the label alt-right are in power, not conservatives. I think it’s important to point out to Trump voters that they (if it fits) are not necessarily in the category of conservative anymore. If they want to move us all back in time in regards to human rights, reproductive rights, and equal opportunity for all and the goal of a level playing field then that is not conservative!! It’s reactionary! It’s alt-right!

    From Wiki:
    The alt-right is a loose group of people with far right ideologies who reject mainstream conservatism in the United States.[1][2] The alt-right has no formal ideology, although various sources have stated that white nationalism is fundamental.[1][2][3] It has also been associated with white supremacism,[4][5][6] Islamophobia,[7][8][9][10] antifeminism,[1][11] homophobia,[12][13][14] antisemitism,[1][2][15] ethno-nationalism,[16] right-wing populism,[3] nativism,[17] traditionalism, and the neoreactionary movement.[4][18] The movement lacks a consensus ideology, and has further been associated with multiple groups from American nationalists, neo-monarchists, far-right leaning men’s rights advocates, and people who oppose mainstream conservatism.[19][20]

    I want to point out to these people which political category that they are actually in. Don’t call yourself a conservative when you support every idea under the category of fascism! Don’t sneer at me for being a progressive liberal when my ideas compared to the Europeans land me just left of center! What the hell is wrong with progress?! The damn idiots.

    The reactionaries dream of forcing us back in time to a Leave it to Beaver dreamworld where white men ruled and enjoyed every privilege in society while women, minorities, children, and animals had limited rights or none whatsoever. We refuse to go back to those bad old days. Religion is a terrifying force in support of these people. It keeps the sheep primed for whatever shitty scheme these fascists concoct next.

    Ben Carson – a deluded fool. A simpleton who should have been tossed on the dust heap of time.

    Laurie, you don’t mince words.

    Fifty years of constant trouble from this. Meh.

    All alone this week. Feeling horrible.

    Why aren’t you going upstate? Lonely? Do something about it!! Launch yourself into a new project or get into some volunteer work. Find a destitute family and drop a helpful gift to them. I’m in the middle of helping a single mom of three set up her new apt. Painted the whole thing and helped her sign up for food aid and took her to Ikea for a shopping spree. You should see how happy she is. That makes me very happy too. So many people need help. You and I have had our hard knocks Dan, but all in all, we’re doing very well. I’m lucky in this life that I can reach out and help someone whenever I have the opportunity to do so. This is what gets me through the “holidays” which in my opinion are a stupid crock of shit.

    I was trying to mince my words but obviously it’s impossible 😀

    Re: Education, let’s remind these reactionaries about what sort of society we will be living in if education reverts back to be all private. In that dystopia, children of the very wealthy will attend their private schools and everyone else will have a meager education if they have any at all. The public education system is all the middle and lower economic classes have to keep themselves out of dire poverty. Gutting the government funding of this system is a blatant attempt to destroy the middle class once and for all. Is there any better example of ignorant citizens voting against their own interests? So depressing.

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  • Great comment!

    I’m lucky in this life that I can reach out and help someone whenever I have the opportunity to do so.

    You just helped me a lot. I feel energized. Communing with likeminded people is salutary.

    I am upstate. My sister and her kids are at Universal. I am taking care of her two dogs and her cat, and giving them a lot of TLC. (Singer would be pleased.) Now I need to help some humans too! Thank you for your empathy. I am grateful for our e-friendship. (E-friendship? Sounds weird.)

    Education. Another thing: Government vouchers will be paying for religious schools. Funding for these schools will violate the separation of church and state. Many other problems with “school choice”.


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  • Communing with likeminded people is salutary.

    Yes, true.

    vouchers will be paying for religious schools.

    Fundamentalists must be ecstatic. They’ve wanted this for a long time. How many kids will now have no hope of a decent secular education? What a back slide we’re headed for.

    Finished the book Lab Girl and now starting Moral Tribes

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  • Finished Wittgensteins’s Remarks on Colourand started Writings on an Ethical Life. I am also rereading my all-time favorite: Danny and the Dinosaur.

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  • LaurieB #10
    Nov 23, 2016 at 9:19 pm

    Fundamentalists must be ecstatic. They’ve wanted this for a long time. How many kids will now have no hope of a decent secular education? What a back slide we’re headed for.

    Ah well! Education is preparation for future life as citizens, so when Trump and co have cancelled the budget for NASA’s global satellite monitoring and global electronic management and communication malaky, the US can get down to restoring those serious red-neck industries of wall building, coal digging, and sod-busting! 🙂

    Meanwhile the rest of the civilised world, will take over leadership in these hi-tec areas! –
    But hey! Like US astronauts buying rides on Russian Soyuz launch vehicles after destroying their own Saturn 5 technology, the US can buy back some of these global information services later!

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