How Might a Clinton or Trump Presidency Impact Federal Education Policy?

Every day the online New York Times prints the “odds,” expressed in a percent of the Clinton-Trump race – yesterday Clinton was leading 90% to 10%.

The election is no longer 24/7 all over TV screens; as we move towards September the baseball pennant races and the opening of the college and NFL football season are beginning to eat up the media air.

A few shots of a Clinton or Trump rally, a paid Clinton advertisement warning about Trump provoking a catastrophe and lengthy talking head reflections on San Francisco quarterback not standing for the national anthem as a protest against the treatment of Afro-Americans in America.

For large percentages of Americans election fatigue has set in.  There are probably very few undecided voters – yes, Republicans voters who can’t bring themselves to vote for Trump and unenthusiastic Hillary voters … the electorate has chosen sides.

For the last few weeks my morning coffee crowd has moved from political chatter to renewed interest in the resurgent Yankees and Jets/Giants chances; quite sensible.

The last chance to address tens of millions of Americans will be the debates

First presidential debate (September 26, 2016, Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY)

The debate will be divided into six time segments of approximately 15 minutes each on major topics to be selected by the moderator and announced at least one week before the debate.

The moderator will open each segment with a question, after which each candidate will have two minutes to respond. Candidates will then have an opportunity to respond to each other. The moderator will use the balance of the time in the segment for a deeper discussion of the topic.

Second presidential debate (October 9, 2016, Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, MO)

The second presidential debate will take the form of a town meeting, in which half of the questions will be posed directly by citizen participants and the other half will be posed by the moderator based on topics of broad public interest as reflected in social media and other sources.

Third presidential debate (October 19, 2016, University of Nevada-Las Vegas, Las Vegas, NV)

Same format as first debate.

The last time a presidential debate changed minds was the 1960 Kennedy-Nixon debate.

Of course, to quote, Yogi, “It’s never over until it’s over.”

Both camps are already having internal discussions about cabinet choices.

On the education front the Department of Education is in the final stages of crafting the regulations for the new Every Student Succeeds Act, a Department of Education that will undoubtedly have a new leader no matter who wins the election. The proposed rules are highly controversial (See Ed Week cheat sheet here  and read the extensive criticism and suggestions from the NYS Commissioner Elia here.

One item hanging over New York State and Colorado, the only two states with significant percentages of opt outs; in both states many schools fell below the 95% participation rate and may face unspecified sanctions.

Should the current lame duck Secretary of Education make the decision or the next Secretary of Education? In fact, should the current Secretary of Education release the new regulations or leave it to the new administration?

I imagine in some quarters names for a successor to Secretary King are already being tossed around – not here. I’ll wait until the networks declare a winner on November 8th.

The entire election season, from the cavalry charge of Republicans and the Bernie/Hillary battles:  virtually nothing about education. The reason is not complicated – the American public is sharply divided. See Education Next polling result here.  Appealing to one faction alienates another.

We know a Republican would push for choice, i.e., charter, parochial, private and home schooling all eligible for public dollars. For example, Title 1 Portability, Title 1 dollars would follow the student to wherever the student is receiving education services. Of course, Trump could call for abolishing the entire Department of Education and sharp cuts in federal dollars.

The Democratic side is more complicated, while opt outs and others might want reduction or the end of testing civil rights organizations, allies of the Democrats are strong advocates of testing and the disaggregation of results by ethnicity, race and handicapping condition. One the other hand Clinton made very pro-teacher, pro public education speeches at both the NEA and AFT conventions, and, appears to have an excellent relationship with AFT President Randi Weingarten.

Check out Diane Ravitch’s web site – she will report a talk with Hillary.

Let’s win the presidency, the Senate and the House on November 8th – and then we argue over the future of the federal role.

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One response to “How Might a Clinton or Trump Presidency Impact Federal Education Policy?

  1. Clinton gets us more Common Corps..And Trump takes us back to Dewey..

    Like

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