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Opinion: Trump Has Cheated Students, So Why Would He Help Them When Elected?

Opinion: Trump Has Cheated Students, So Why Would Help Them When Elected?

Donald Trump has a lot to say about many things, but unfortunately education policy isn’t one of them.

Although the country is in the process of implementing a long anticipated piece of education legislation called the Every Student Succeeds Act, Trump hasn’t said a word on how he would oversee the process of implementation if elected. Given the fact that he’s previously mentioned he might get rid of the Department of Education and let state and local school boards assume all control, how this might effect ESSA implementation is critical to know.

Right now, we can only assume Trump knows very little about the education legislation that will soon go into effect. After all, Trump’s remarks on the one topic he has actively spoken about- Common Core- indicates he has no idea what’s going on.

In March, months after ESSA passed, Trump dismissed Common Core as “education through Washington D.C.” While it might be more understandable for him to believe that Common Core is a federal mandate before ESSA passed, (it never was, though Obama provided states incentives for adopting the standards) a big component of the new legislation is that it allows states to pick and develop their own standards; the federal government is not allowed under the legislation to coerce or incentivize states to pick any specific set of standards over another.Donald Trump should understand this, but he clearly doesn’t.

Last month, Hillary Clinton’s and Bernie Sander’s advisers attended a Committee for Education Funding event to explain more about where the respective candidates stand on education issues. An adviser for Trump was invited to attend but did not, leaving a very important perspective out of the conversation. As The Seventy-Four points out, Clinton and Sanders have very similar views about major education issues whereas Trump has expressed wildly different opinions in the past. It’s anyone’s guess at this point if he’ll ever elaborate on them.

But if we had to speculate about how Trump really feels about education policy, we’d have to look at Trump’s past experience handling education issues.

This includes the on-going lawsuits against Trump University- an institution founded by Trump which is accused of scamming students out of precious time and money through its false promises of teaching success.

While Trump lured students into enrolling in the “university” with promises of hand-picking real estate experts to teach a curriculum personally designed by him, none of this was actually true.

Says The National Review: "The materials were 'in large part developed by a third-party company that creates and develops materials for an array of motivational speakers and seminar and timeshare rental companies.’”

It’s now largely understood that Trump used Trump University to scam thousands of people out of thousands of dollars to purchase a product with little to no value.

If Trump is willing to oversee Trump University and cheat thousands of individuals out of time and money, what makes us think he’d be willing to go to bat for the millions of students being cheated out of a good education throughout the country?

Not a lot, and that’s very, very concerning.

Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

6/13/2016

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