President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign didn’t make it clear what the administration’s educational policies would look like and throughout his presidency he’s brought alarming ideology to education. President-elect Joe Biden differs from the Trump administration, not only with a plan but a determination that will be felt throughout all of education.
For the past four years, Trump shared a message of aggression and separation that found its way into ideas like the 1776 Commission. The 1776 Commission is a plan to promote “patriotic education,” as said by Trump.
Announced in September, the 1776 Commission is a plan to shift education away from the impacts of slavery and racism. Trump calls teaching about racism “Anti-American propaganda,” and would rather teach why America is “the most exceptional nation in the history of the world.”
Any president that encourages the 1776 Commission should be a red flag to any who value truth, open-mindedness and the ability to reflect on what being an American means.
Biden has shown clear concern for the division Trump has brought to America, but more importantly, he focuses on real solutions rather than pumping up supporters.
Biden is considering a $200 billion program to make schools virus-free with better air circulation, smaller class sizes and personal protective equipment. With these protective measures Biden hopes students will be able to safely return to school from the pandemic.
Whether Biden will get the requested $200 billion is unknown, but what can be gathered from this is that Biden is determined to safely transition students back to school.
Trump also wanted to get students back in school but included no plan and continues to downplay the COVID-19 pandemic. The impact of Trump opening schools too early and without proper funding for necessary safety measures was alarming, especially when I reflect on the cleanliness of my own high school. Without change or a plan, it makes little sense why Trump encouraged schools to reopen.
Trump’s insufficient planning shows a serious lack of care for education and his appointees continue to prove that. Secretary of Education Betsy Devos was controversially appointed partly due to having little experience in education.
Biden’s care and preparedness for handling education is seen not only in his planning but from the vice president he selected and the influence of his wife, Jill Biden. Jill Biden, who has a doctorate in education, can inspire her husband as she continues to teach as the first lady.
Vice President-elect Kamala Harris supports raising teacher pay by $13,500, increasing funding for Title I schools and reducing student debt. These policies will in theory attract better teachers and encourage more people to become involved in higher education.
Though Biden brings with him a great team and clear goals, he can’t be the champion for all. Those who value school choice, religious education or are worried about where Biden plans on getting his funding might not find his policy very appealing.
I believe the president best for education is the president that has a plan, brings with him a qualified team and doesn’t consider warping history. There’s no perfect candidate but there’s a lot better than Trump, so I welcome Joe Biden.
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