Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Will Donald Trump destroy U.S. public education? - The Washington Post

Will Donald Trump destroy U.S. public education? - The Washington Post:

Will Donald Trump destroy U.S. public education?


There’s a reason that people who care about public education in the United States are mightily worried about President-elect Donald Trump. There are, actually, a number of reasons — all of which lead to this question: Will Trump’s administration destroy U.S. public education?
The short answer is that he can’t all by himself destroy America’s most important civic institution, at least not without help from Congress as well as state and local legislatures and governors.
State and local governmental entities provide most of K-12 public school funding. And there is no appetite in the country for intense federal involvement in local education, which occurred during the Obama administration at such an unprecedented level that Congress rewrote the No Child Left Behind law — eight years late — so that a great deal of education policymaking power could be sent back to the states.
But the more complicated response is that if he pushes the education policies that he espoused during the campaign — especially for more “choice,” such as voucher programs in which public money is used for private school tuition — he can drive the privatization of public schools with unprecedented speed, furthering the movement that has been growing under former president George W. Bush and then President Obama. Some public systems are already threatened — and nobody knows what the tipping point for many others could be.
He can do this through funding and regulation, and by selecting an education secretary who supports privatization, which he is expected to do. In fact, Education Week reported that Gerard Robinson, a member of Trump’s education transition team, said that Trump would seek to implement “a new way of how to deliver public education” — a statement giving some public education advocates panic attacks. It is likely sobering as well to Obama administration officials who could see some of their efforts toward educational equity reversed.
Trump said he would take $20 billion in federal funding — though he didn’t make clear where he would get it — to establish block grants that states can use to help children in low-income families enroll at private and charter schools. In a somewhat mixed message, he said that although states would be able to use the money as they see fit, he would push them to use it for school choice. And the names of potential candidates for education secretary that have been floated by Trump’s team are avid choice and privatization supporters, including Ben Carson, Betsy DeVos, Williamson Evers and Kevin Chavous.
That many people are worried that Trump could deliver a fatal blow to public schools speaks not only to his views and those of the people around him, but also to the past 15 years of school Will Donald Trump destroy U.S. public education? - The Washington Post:

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