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Donald Trump on Education

2016 Republican nominee for President; 2000 Reform Primary Challenger for President

 


School choice is civil rights issue of our time

To achieve the future [we envision], we must enrich the mind--and the souls--of every American child. Education is the civil rights issue of our time. I am calling upon Members of both parties to pass an education bill that funds school choice for disadvantaged youth, including millions of African-American and Latino children. These families should be free to choose the public, private, charter, magnet, religious or home school that is right for them.
Source: 2017 State of the Union address to Congress , Feb 28, 2017

I may cut Department of Education

Q: Should the federal government establish Common Core as a nationwide academic standard for high school graduation?

Trump: "I'm not cutting services, but I'm cutting spending. But I may cut Department of Education," Trump says. "I believe Common Core is a very bad thing. I believe that we should be--you know, educating our children from Iowa, from New Hampshire, from South Carolina, from California, from New York. I think that it should be local education."

Clinton initially responded to the question about how to fix the U.S. educational system by praising Common Core. She then said that families today are too "negative" about the current system, a system Clinton described as "the most important non-family enterprise" in the country. After noting what she described as "unfortunate" opposition to Common Core, Hillary Clinton also dismissed the concerns of Common Core opponents by saying they just "do not understand the value" of the controversial top-down curriculum. Source

Source: 2016 AFA Action iVoterGuide on 2016 presidential hopefuls , Nov 8, 2016

Call them vouchers or scholarships; I call it competition

Q: Do you agree that free-market competition for education dollars, rather than a government monopoly, would create a better education for all students?

Trump: "Our public schools are capable of providing a more competitive product than they do today. Look at some of the high school tests from earlier in this century and you'll wonder if they weren't college-level tests. And we've got to bring on the competition -open the schoolhouse doors and let parents choose the best school for their children. Education reformers call this school choice, charter schools, vouchers, even opportunity scholarships. I call it competition--the American way."

Clinton: Does not like voucher programs. While she does support school choice as it exists as a form of public education, Clinton has always been opposed to allowing public funds to be used toward private and religious schools. As a New York Senator, Hillary Clinton voted against voucher programs in the state in 2001.

Source: 2016 AFA Action iVoterGuide on 2016 presidential hopefuls , Nov 8, 2016

Disadvantaged students are trapped in failing schools

One of the biggest issues in this race is going to be the issue of school choice. And I can't possibly emphasize this enough. Millions of poor and disadvantaged students are trapped in failing schools. This education crisis afflicts all communities, but none more so than the African-American community--none. The Democratic Party has run the inner cities of America for 50, 60, 70 years, some cases over a hundred years. Their policies and their politics, and in particular the politics of people like Hillary Clinton, have produced only poverty, joblessness, and rising crime

I have outlined a new civil rights agenda for our time--the right to a safe community, a great education and a secure job. School choice is at the center of this civil rights agenda. Hillary Clinton opposes school choice because she is controlled totally, totally, like a puppet, by special interests. Her policies will force millions of African-American and Hispanic children to remain stuck in failed government schools

Source: 11th Annual Value Voters Summit - 2016 , Sep 9, 2016

Disadvantaged students are trapped in failing schools

I have outlined a new civil rights agenda for our time--the right to a safe community, a great education & a secure job. School choice is at the center of this civil rights agenda, and my goal is to provide every single inner-city child in America that is trapped in a failing government school the freedom to attend the school of their choice. Competition--the schools the schools will get better and better. And that means a private school, a religious school, a charter school or a magnet school. School choice also means that parents can home-school their children.

Hillary Clinton opposes school choice--her policies will force millions of African-American and Hispanic children to remain stuck in failed government schools, leading to higher unemployment and more poverty. My plan will break the government monopoly and make schools compete to provide the best services for our children including every African-American and Hispanic child in this country, every single one of them.

Source: 11th Annual Value Voters Summit - 2016 , Sep 9, 2016

Money follows student to public, private or religious school

This proposal [for competition to improve public schools] begins with a $20 billion block grant from the federal government for states to pursue school choice programs. However, because 90% of education spending is at the state level, I will campaign to get the states to reallocate another $110 billion of their education budgets to school choice programs.

If we do this, that would mean $12,000 in school choice funds for every disadvantaged student in America. The money will follow the student to the public, private or religious school that is best for them and their family. In so many ways, you're going to have choice.

My administration will partner with anybody in the inner cities of America willing to run a pilot program--to provide school choice to every child in that community. As your president, I will be the biggest cheerleader for school choice you've ever seen, because I know it can turn things around. Common Core--we're going to end it. We're bringing education local.

Source: 11th Annual Value Voters Summit - 2016 , Sep 9, 2016

FactCheck: More than figurehead at Trump U

One key issue in the ongoing class-action lawsuits against Trump University is whether Donald Trump was just a figurehead (and any responsibility for wrongdoing is on his subordinates) or instead was personally involved (and any responsibility for wrongdoing is on him).

Our conclusion: Trump was involved in guiding Trump U in the same manner he guides any real estate development project. Trump doesn't do any construction on his buildings: he designs them and oversees implementation. Similarly, he designed a lot of Trump U and oversaw its operations.

One strong piece of evidence is the location of Trump U--at 40 Wall Street. That building is featured in its own chapter in Donald's book "The Art of the Comeback" (1997)--Donald worked for years on that building. Donald located Trump U at the jewel in the crown of the Trump empire--he meant Trump U not as just a money-making venture, but as a showpiece for his name. Trump U may have failed, but Donald Trump intended it to succeed.

Source: OnTheIssues FactCheck on Trump 101, by Donald Trump , Jun 9, 2016

No federal government profit from student loans

A four-year degree today can be expensive enough to create six-figure debt. We can't forgive these loans, but we should take steps to help students.

The big problem is the federal government. There is no reason the federal government should profit from student loans. This only makes an already difficult problem worse. The Federal Student Loan Program turned a $41.3 billion profit in 2013.

These student loans are probably one of the only things that the government shouldn't make money from, and yet it does. And do you think this has anything to do with why schools continue to raise their tuition every year? Those loans should be viewed as an investment in America's future.

Source: Crippled America, by Donald Trump, p. 58-9 , Nov 3, 2015

Let schools compete: charters, vouchers, and magnets

Competition is why I'm very much in favor of school choice. Let schools compete for kids. I guarantee that if you forced schools to get better or close because parents didn't want to enroll their kids there, they would get better. Those schools that weren't good enough to attract students would close, and that's a good thing.

For two decades I've been urging politicians to open the schoolhouse doors and let parents decide which schools are best for their children. Professional educators look to claim that doing so would be the end of good public schools. Better charter or magnet schools would drain the top kids out of that system, or hurt the morale of those left behind. Suddenly, the excellence that comes from competition is being criticized.

Source: Crippled America, by Donald Trump, p. 53-4 , Nov 3, 2015

Dept. of Education runs top-down one-size-fits-all system

A lot of people believe the Department of Education should just be eliminated. Get rid of it. If we don't eliminate it completely, we certainly need to cut its power and reach. Education has to be run locally. Common Core, No Child Left Behind, and Race to the Top are all programs that take decisions away from parents and local school boards. These programs allow the progressives in the Department of Education to indoctrinate, not educate, our kids. What they are doing does not fit the American model of governance.

I am totally against these programs and the Department of Education. It's a disaster. We cannot continue to fail our children--the very future of this nation.

Source: Crippled America, by Donald Trump, p. 50-1 , Nov 3, 2015

Cut Department of Education and Common Core

Q: Would you cut departments?

TRUMP: We're going to be cutting tremendous amounts of money and waste and fraud and abuse. But, no, I'm not cutting services, but I am cutting spending.˙But I may cut Department of Education-- Common Core is a very bad thing. I think that it should be local education. If you look at a Jeb Bush and some of these others, they want children to be educated by Washington, D.C. bureaucrats.

Source: Fox News Sunday 2015 Coverage of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Oct 18, 2015

We spend more per student than any other nation

Source: Fordham Institute EduWatch 2016 by Brandon White , Jun 18, 2015

Common Core is a disaster

[As president I'd] end Common Core. Common Core is a disaster. Bush is totally in favor of Common Core. I don't see how he can possibly get the nomination. He's weak on immigration. He's in favor of Common Core. How the hell can you vote for this guy? You just can't do it. We have to end--education has to be local.
Source: 2015 announcement speeches of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Jun 16, 2015

Cut the Department of Education way, way down

Source: Forbes Magazine "2016 Candidates Want You to Know" series , Jun 16, 2015

Founded Trump University to teach the art of deal-making

Back in 2005, he started an online school called Trump University to teach the art of deal-making, but it didn't offer degrees. The New York Department of Education complained and he changed the name to Trump Entrepreneur Initiative in 2010.
Source: Forbes Magazine "2016 Candidates Want You to Know" series , Jun 16, 2015

Opposes Common Core

Donald Trump doesn't think the GOP is demanding enough. "Republicans have to toughen up," Trump said in a speech at CPAC. "Toughen up on the IRS, toughen up on Benghazi, toughen up on everything."

Trump bashed Jeb Bush on education, who Trump said was "in favor of common core."

"I thought Romney could do it," Trump, who backed the candidate during the last election, said. "I don't want what happened to Mitt Romney to happen again."

Source: CBS News on 2015 Conservative Political Action Conf. , Feb 27, 2015

Common Core means Washington tells you what to study

Q: What's Donald Trump think about Common Core?

Trump: Well first of all, I think it's going to kill Bush, and I think that education should be local, absolutely. I think that for people in Washington to be setting curriculum and to be setting all sorts of standards for people living in Iowa and other places is ridiculous.

Q: Why is it going to kill Bush?

Trump: Because I think people don't want to have somebody from Washington looking down and saying this is what you're going to be studying.

Q: But do you think he's responsible for that part of it?

Trump: No, but he's responsible for supporting it."

Source: Hugh Hewitt radio interview on 2016 presidential hopefuls , Feb 25, 2015

Americans don't know their roots: study your ancestry

I was listening to some Europeans once and they seemed to agree that Americans didn't seem to know their roots. Of course, their roots go back for many more centuries than ours and may be easier to decipher because many of us have ancestors from different countries. But it gave me a reason to think about what they said, and I realized in many cases they were right. I recently went to Scotland, as my mother's side of the family is of Scottish ancestry, and I've spent time studying that country & therefore my heritage. It could even explain why I love golf so much--it originated in Scotland.

I found that I enjoyed learning about Scotland and it has broadened my horizons as well as my interests as a businessman. I am building a golf course in Aberdeen that will be spectacular, and I very much enjoyed my visiting and meeting the people from the culture and country. I also realized I still have a lot to learn, which will no doubt lead me into more interesting ventures as well as adventures.

Source: Think Like a Champion, by Donald Trump, p. 37 , Apr 27, 2010

Comprehensive education instead of limiting subjects

Comprehensive education dissolves the lines between knowing too much and knowing too little on a variety of subjects--subjects that are necessary for success. Recently, I interviewed a young man who was very well versed in his field of expertise and almost uneducated in every other subject. It was like he had tunnel vision, and although I admired his knowledge of his field, I had to realize that, considering the scope of my enterprises, he might not be a great fit because of his limited interests.
Source: Think Like a Champion, by Donald Trump, p. 47 , Apr 27, 2010

I'm deeply and actively involved in Trump University

I have a real passion for learning. My books and my professional experience always included a strong education or "lessons learned" slant. This book is a collection of my beliefs and about business and life-my basic rules and principles. It also contains questions submitted to me on the Trump University blog and my answers.

Another purpose of this book is to introduce you to Trump University, which grew out of my desire to impart the business knowledge I accumulated over the years and to find a practical, convenient way to teach success. Trump University doesn't just bear my name; I'm actively involved in it. I participated in creating the curricula, and my words, ideas, and image have been woven into the courses we provide.

I'm deeply and actively involved in Trump University because I firmly believe in the power of education and its function as an engine of success. I want to help people, and, simply put, the Trump University students want to be successful. I'm on their side.

Source: Trump 101, by Donald Trump, p. xix-xx , Oct 20, 2006

Teach citizenship; stop “dumbing down”

Our schools aren’t safe. On top of that, our kids aren’t learning. Too many are dropping out of school and into the street life-and too many of those who do graduate are getting diplomas that have been devalued into “certificates of attendance” by a dumbed-down curriculum that asks little of teachers and less of students. Schools are crime-ridden and they don’t teach.

How long do we think the U.S. can survive schools that pretend to teach while our kids pretend to learn? How can a kid hope to build an American Dream when he hasn’t been taught how to spell the word “dream”?

Public education was never meant to only teach the three R’s, history, and science. It was also meant to teach citizenship. At the lower levels it should cover the basics, help students develop study habits, and prepare those who desire higher education for the tough road ahead. It’s a mandate the public schools have delivered on since their inception. Until now.

Source: The America We Deserve, by Donald Trump, p. 67 , Jul 2, 2000

End “creative spelling,” “estimating,” & “empowerment”

The people running our public schools don’t want to damage a student’s self-esteem. They’re concerned about “empowerment.” They’re worried kids will feel bad if they get a problem wrong or flunk a spelling test. It’s better to pat a kid on the head and praise his “creative spelling” than point out that there is a traditional name for people with poor spelling skills. We call them illiterates.

Some educators think being “judgmental” is the worst of all sins. The problem is that life tends to judge-and harshly at that. There’s no room for error when you’re launching the space shuttle. Or mixing the concrete for the foundation of Trump Tower, for that matter. Try giving a number “in the neighborhood of” on your tax returns and you may end up in a place where there’s a very definite number stamped on the back of your shirt.

Source: The America We Deserve, by Donald Trump, p. 69 , Jul 2, 2000

Bring on the competition; tear down the union walls

Our public schools have grown up in a competition-free zone, surrounded by a very high union wall. Why aren’t we shocked at the results? After all, teachers’ unions are motivated by the same desires that move the rest of us. With more than 85% of their soft-money donations going to Democrats, teachers’ unions know they can count on the politician they back to take a strong stand against school choice.

Our public schools are capable of providing a more competitive product than they do today. Look at some of the high school tests from earlier in this century and you’ll wonder if they weren’t college-level tests. And we’ve got to bring on the competition -open the schoolhouse doors and let parents choose the best school for their children.

Education reformers call this school choice, charter schools, vouchers, even opportunity scholarships. I call it competition-the American way.

Source: The America We Deserve, by Donald Trump, p. 80-81 , Jul 2, 2000

School choice will improve public schools

Defenders of the status quo insist that parental choice means the end of public schools. Let’s look at the facts. Right now, nine of ten children attend public schools. If you look at public education as a business- and with nearly $300 billion spent each year on K-through-twelve education, it’s a very big business indeed-it would set off every antitrust alarm bell at the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission. When teachers’ unions say even the most minuscule program allowing school choice is a mortal threat, they’re saying: If we aren’t allowed to keep 90% of the market, we can’t survive. When Bell Telephone had 90% of the market, a federal judge broke it up.

Who’s better off? The kids who use vouchers to go to the school of their choice, or the ones who choose to stay in public school? All of them. That’s the way it works in a competitive system.

Source: The America We Deserve, by Donald Trump, p. 83 , Jul 2, 2000

Supports vouchers to let parents choose public or private school.

Trump supports the CC survey question on school vouchers

The Christian Coalition Voter Guide inferred whether candidates agree or disagree with the statement, 'Education vouchers that allow parents to choose a public or private school for their children' The Christian Coalition notes, "You can help make sure that voters have the facts BEFORE they cast their votes. We have surveyed candidates in the most competitive congressional races on the issues that are important to conservatives."

Source: Christian Coalition Survey 16_CC7 on Nov 8, 2016

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Page last updated: Jun 15, 2017