Skip to Content

Donald Trump is ‘clueless about what works’ for students, public education

Trump doubles down on failed education policies at failing, for-profit charter school


CLEVELAND - September 08, 2016 -

With just weeks to go until Election Day, voters have been frustrated with Donald Trump’s failure to provide detailed plans on major issues such as education, the economy and foreign policy. Trump today visited a for-profit charter school in Cleveland to talk education.

“Donald Trump isn’t serious about doing what’s best for our students, and he’s clueless about what works. His silver bullet approach does nothing to help the most-vulnerable students and ignores glaring opportunity gaps while taking away money from public schools to fill private-sector coffers. No matter what you call it, vouchers take dollars away from our public schools to fund private schools at taxpayers’ expense with little to no regard for our students,” said NEA President Lily Eskelsen García.”

“Today we saw Donald Trump desperately throw a bunch of failed education policies against a wall to see if any of them would stick. In contrast, Hillary Clinton believes a child’s chance of success should not depend on living in the right ZIP code. And she is fully committed to supporting educators and to ensuring that they not only we have a partner in the White House but that we also have a seat at the table,” added Eskelsen García.

Decades of research have found that vouchers fail to improve student achievement in any impactful way, do not help the students most in need and ignore the real opportunity gaps that exist in public schools. And the backdrop of a failing for-profit charter school for today’s campaign stop shows just how clueless and out-of-touch Trump is from what kids need to succeed.

“Donald Trump’s campaign has been smoke-and-mirrors with no substance,” said Becky Higgins, a first-grade teacher serving as president of the Ohio Education Association. “Donald Trump has no understanding of what kids need to succeed in school or in life. He’s only concerned with his bottom line.”

A recent study by the Center for Research on Education Outcomes at Stanford University found that charter schools fail at higher rates than they succeed. On the Ohio state report card, more charter schools received F grades than As, Bs and Cs combined. Last year, more than $500 million in state aid was sent to charter schools that performed the same or worse than the local school district from which students transferred, according to KnowYourCharter.com.

Trump’s lack of a real education plan isn’t the only thing that concerns educators in this highly unusual election. With his divisive campaign, Trump has taken hate mainstream.

“We teach our students to view the president as a role model, but when Donald Trump promotes a campaign built on racism, sexism and xenophobia, he’s no role model I would want for my students or my family,” said Dan Greenberg, a high school English teacher in Sylvania, Ohio. “It doesn’t matter who you are — Democrat, Republican, or Independent — we have to vote our conscience over political party. Donald Trump is not fit to be Commander-in-Chief.”

In the last days of Election 2016, Trump’s attempt to “soften” his tone can’t change how his campaign has been built on racist prejudice and paranoia.

“We’ve seen behavior from Donald Trump that we would never accept in a classroom,” added Eskelsen García who was the 1989 Utah Teacher of the Year before being elected president of the 3 million-member National Education Association. “We teach children to reject prejudice and stereotypes like the ones Donald Trump embraces every time he hurls racial slurs, insults immigrants and women, and talks about banning Muslims from entering our country. We need a president who stands up to bullies — not one who embraces their tactics.”

Follow us on twitter at @NEAmedia

Keep up with the conversation at #StrongPublicSchools

# # #

The National Education Association is the nation’s largest professional organization, representing more than 3 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers. Learn more at www.nea.org.

CONTACT: Staci Maiers, NEA Communications  202-270-5333 cell, smaiers@nea.org
                          Michele Prater, OEA Communications  614-378-0469 cell, praterm@ohea.org