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Analysis of Presidential Candidates’ Tech and Innovation Policy Positions Finds Trump Lacks Clear Agenda

Analysis of Presidential Candidates’ Tech and Innovation Policy Positions Finds Trump Lacks Clear Agenda

"Whether one believes America is 'already great' or needs to be made 'great again,' it should be clear that technological innovation is a key factor in that greatness,” says the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF).

That is why it has released Clinton vs. Trump: Comparing the Candidates’ Positions on Technology and Innovation, a paper designed to help voters understand where the respective candidates stand on issues such as STEM education policy, cyber security, research and development funding and more.

While ITIF says it does its best to track where both candidates stand on key issues, it disclosed that it had difficulty tracking Donald Trump’s views because of his tendency to be vague.

"While Clinton has stated her positions on most, if not all, of the issues areas tracked by ITIF, Trump has been much vaguer, offering few detailed positions,” the paper says.

"Nevertheless, we believe it is important to clearly document what the two candidates have said (or not said) about these critical innovation issues, as their positions serve as the best available guide to the next administration’s policy priorities—and the lack of a stated position may indicate which issues would be low priorities.”

When it comes to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), the report indicates that Clinton would be more hands-on when it comes to legislating a bolstering of STEM education in America’s schools.

Whereas Trump “[a]rgues that there is no shortage of skilled STEM workers because some STEM graduates do not find jobs in their fields,” Clinton says she will actively train 50,000 computer science teachers to fill a growing need for qualified individuals to lead students into related fields. Further, she will support the development of STEM-intensive high schools in cities throughout the country.

Trump has not specifically mentioned any plans to support innovation in education, while Clinton has proposed using student aid to pursue alternative learning opportunities and increasing federal funding to support technical programs, certificates for specialization and online learning.

In general, ITIF notes that Trump has remained mostly silent when it comes to innovation as an overall issue.

”[T]he most distinguishing feature of the Trump campaign agenda in this area has been its notable lack of articulated policy positions. As of early August, there were just six policy positions listed under the ‘Position'” tab of the official Trump campaign website,” the report notes.

Trump has frequently been referred to as a “wild card” when it comes to his education policy positions, but the candidate alluded to releasing soon an outline of education policy proposals developed in coordination with daughter Ivanka Trump.


Related Readings:

Read the full report here.

Nicole Gorman, Senior Education World Contributor


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