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Donald Trump on Education

2000 Reform Primary Challenger for President


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

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Other candidates on Education: Donald Trump on other issues:
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George W. Bush (R,2001-2009)
Bill Clinton (D,1993-2001)
George Bush Sr. (R,1989-1993)
Ronald Reagan (R,1981-1989)
Jimmy Carter (D,1977-1981)
Gerald Ford (R,1974-1977)
Richard Nixon (R,1969-1974)
Lyndon Johnson (D,1963-1969)
John F. Kennedy (D,1961-1963)

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Page last updated: Oct 08, 2013