TrumpED Podcast on Education Priorities

Education leaders hope to work with Trump, negate anti-public education policies.

March 2017, Volume 40, Issue 7

How will the education community engage with the Trump administration and influence its priorities, which seem vastly different than what we’ve seen in recent decades?

In a recent BAM! Radio interview, NAESP Executive Director Gail Connelly discussed that issue with a panel that included the leaders of AASA, the School Superintendents Association; the National Association of Secondary School Principals; the Association of School Business Officials International, and the National Association for the Education of Young Children.

Several panelists noted that the administration is likely to propose initiatives on charters and school choice that would significantly impact public education funding, particularly for schools in low-income areas. Some education groups have said they will not work with Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, but those participating in the show said they would be willing to work with her where possible to push their platforms and seek common ground.


Host Patrick Riccards asked Connelly about that opposition and educators’ roles: “What do you think is the optimal disposition toward this new administration and its approach to education?”

“Our hope is that we will be afforded the opportunity to have access,” said Connelly. “We have obvious concerns with the Trump administration, and Education Secretary DeVos’ intention to focus on ‘educational opportunities’ as a means to advance a choice agenda, but the danger is these terms can be associated with actions that convolute effective systems.”

“Let’s move beyond politics and make it about what’s best for children,” she added. That sentiment was expressed several times during the show.

Other discussions included concern about DeVos’ position and power, whether President Trump wouid give more power to states and school districts, how he might design a $20 billion school choice program, and which campaign promises and other pledges would actually come to fruition.

Connelly added, “We’re going to be on high alert and doing everything we can to work with the Secretary of Education to make her and her colleagues very aware of our concerns.”

A podcast of the show can be accessed here.

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