Saturday, November 12, 2016

What a #TrumpEducation Means...More or Less

Note: Twitter won't let you Tweet my blog url. Please use this shortened url instead Like many others, I was surprised about this week's election results. After doing some soul searching I realized my surprise was a result of believing what the smug American media was telling us. In fact I was primarily surrounded by, and a participant in, smug America liberalism. I was a part of Trump’s secret weapon and didn’t know it.

I was living in a bubble. I was not listening to what those people who live in forgotten corners of our country and my friends and their family in law enforcement were saying and feeling. I didn’t read what educators, and documentary filmmakers I generally follow were writing, unless they were sharing what I wanted to hear.  I was doing what education and career writer Penelope Trunk points to in her article calling Americans a bunch of liars.

I was happy believing Trump had no serious policy stances in general or stances on education in particular. Sure, Trump shared he would make America great, but I believed, as the media shared, that he had never gotten his hands dirty with facts explaining how he would do that. In his article about what Trump means for education, Frederick Hess, director of education policy studies at AEI and editor at Education Next, asks: “Who really knows what a Trump administration would actually try to do on schooling?”

But now that I have started looking into the question myself, I have discovered that we do know what Trump might try to do on schooling. Trump has shared his stance on education in three books, and several articles and videos. After reviewing what Trump, and those who are likely to be on his Cabinet, have said, I discovered the 7 areas you may see more of and 7 areas Trump would like you to see less of during his presidency. You can see what they are in the table below.

What a #TrumpEducation Means...More or Less
1) Standards

2) Department of Education Influence
  • Distribution of Services
3) Standardized Testing

  • Standardized Testing
4) College Readiness

  • Focus on Workforce Ready
  • Focus on College Ready
5) Public School Students

  • Religious, Military, Corporate, Independent, Trade and Home schools
  • Traditional Government Schools
6) Student Debt
  • Student debt
7) Student Under/Unemployment
  • Student jobs
  • Majors that result in careers
  • Student unemployment
  • Majors in areas such as liberal arts for those wanting student loans

What do you think? Agree? Disagree?

Want to know more about what’s behind each area addressed in the chart? Stay tuned for my next post,where I’ll share the additional insights I have uncovered after spending dozens of hours obsessively combing through what Trump and the experts have written and said on the topic.


  1. Thank you Lisa for unpacking this for all the teachers who were blindsided last week. I for one will try to keep an open mind and hold onto hope that things might turn out better for the educational system in our country.

  2. This is an excellent resource. I hope we can get as many educators as possible to read and educate themselves on these issues. It's hard to ignore mainstream media and even harder to drill down to facts.

  3. Many of these ideas actually make sense. Perhaps, I need to look deeper to learn more instead of playing into what's happening on the surface. I definitely believe it would be a great idea to have colleges share risk with student debt.

  4. Do you honestly believe that he would define "Student Success Plans" the way you do?

    1. The more we write, speak, and share promising practices for learning, the more well-known they become. The more well-known our visions for success become, the more quickly we move toward a common definition.

  5. Thank you for sharing this great resource. Unfortunately, when I try to tweet this blogpost Twitter blocks the link because it's "Pro Trump". I voted for HRC but woke up the next day to smell the coffee needing to learn what the DT reality meant for me and my family. The technological echo chamber of Silicon Valley is a scary thing.

    1. Thank you for trying to share my post. The post isn't pro-Trump, but rather what I have discovered after reading information from and about Trump.

      Twitter started targeting my blog about a month ago which I shared here:

      I've gone down various avenues and support channels to fix the problem with no success.

      My hack has been to create shortened urls for my posts. For this one you can use

  6. It is so important we become informed. Yes, our Camelot has come to an end, but the world continues and children need advocates as much as ever. Thank you, Lisa, for taking that closer look and sharing.

  7. We must also consider other "issues" like civil rights, free speech, women's rights... this is not just about "education" policy... but a policy on life, liberty and justice for all.... there is a clear difference between moral leadership and moron leadership... when the children in our schools feel the fear of the hate, how can we expect them to trust...

    1. Absolutely and there has been quite a bit of coverage on that.

      What we have seen little of is how policy might directly affect educators, parents, and students directly connected to where the source leading to that possibility originated.

      That is what I am working on unpacking in this four-part series.