| Updated: August 2, 2016
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Compare the Candidates: Where Do Clinton and Trump Stand on Education?

The Democratic nominee for president, Hillary Clinton, and Republican nominee Donald Trump have yet to release comprehensive K-12 policy plans. To give a sense of where they stand, Education Week reviewed their statements, proposals, and positions on a dozen education policy issues, from school choice to school safety. Some material is drawn from their 2016 presidential campaigns, some from before they began their current quests for the White House.

For a review of the education records and statements from other parties' presidential candidates, including the Green Party’s presumptive nominee Jill Stein and Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson, click here.

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Select a Topic:

Academic Standards
Bullying
Candidate Background
College Access
Early-Childhood Education
Every Student Succeeds Act
School Choice
School Construction
School Safety & Climate
School Spending
Teacher Quality
Testing
U.S. Department of Education



Candidate Background
Candidate Background
SELECT A CANDIDATE:
Hillary Clinton | Donald Trump
Academic Standards
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Hillary Clinton | Donald Trump
Bullying
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Hillary Clinton | Donald Trump
College Access
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Hillary Clinton | Donald Trump
Early-Childhood Education
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Hillary Clinton | Donald Trump
Every Student Succeeds Act
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Hillary Clinton | Donald Trump
School Choice
SELECT A CANDIDATE:
Hillary Clinton | Donald Trump
School Construction
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Hillary Clinton | Donald Trump
School Safety & Climate
SELECT A CANDIDATE:
Hillary Clinton | Donald Trump
School Spending
SELECT A CANDIDATE:
Hillary Clinton | Donald Trump
Teacher Quality
SELECT A CANDIDATE:
Hillary Clinton | Donald Trump
Testing
SELECT A CANDIDATE:
Hillary Clinton | Donald Trump
U.S. Department of Education
SELECT A CANDIDATE:
Hillary Clinton | Donald Trump

Hillary Clinton Donald Trump
  • U.S. secretary of state, 2009 to 2013
  • U.S. senator, New York, 2001 to 2009
  • First lady of the U.S., 1993 to 2001
  • First lady of Arkansas, 1979 to 1981; 1983 to 1992
  • Chairman and president of the Trump Organization, which oversees investments in hotels, resorts, golf courses, merchandise, and other business ventures
  • Author and co-author of several books, including The Art of the Deal and The America We Deserve
  • Appeared on and produced “The Apprentice” reality-TV show
"When I think about the really unfortunate argument that’s been going on around common core, it’s very painful, because the common core started off as a bipartisan effort—it was actually nonpartisan. It wasn’t politicized, it was to try to come up with a core of learning that we might expect students to achieve across our country."
—Community college speech as reported by The Washington Post, April 2015
  • Supports the Common Core State Standards.
  • As first lady of Arkansas, led an effort to raise graduation standards and expand rigorous course offerings.
  • As a U.S. senator, introduced legislation calling for states to create voluntary math and science standards.
"So, common core is a total disaster. We can’t let it continue."
—Facebook video
  • Has been clear throughout the campaign: wants the Common Core State Standards gone.
  • The federal government can’t get rid of the standards unless it adopts a new law banning the common core outright, which is very unlikely.
  • Hasn’t detailed why he detests the standards so much. But that didn’t stop him from attacking former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, his one-time rival for the GOP nomination, for supporting the common core.
"Bullying has always been around, but it seems to have gotten somehow easier and more widespread because of social media and the Internet. … I think we all need to be aware of the pain and the anguish that bullying can cause."
—Iowa town hall event
  • Would resurrect the School Climate and Transformation grant program, which received $23 million in fiscal 2014, and increase it to $200 million.
  • That money could be used to help schools create “school climate support teams” made up of social workers, behavorial specialists, and educators to help districts rethink their approach to discipline.
  • Wants to make sure other federal funds can be used to train teachers on so-called restorative-justice practices, in which students seek to make amends for their actions.
  • Has said that Trump’s campaign tactics set a bad example for students on bullying.
  • Hasn’t specifically weighed in on bullying in schools, which has gotten more attention in recent years.
  • The Southern Poverty Law Center, an advocacy group, recently cited an unscientific survey of teachers it said shows that Trump’s campaign rhetoric is linked to more students feeling unsafe or singled out by their peers.
  • Backs a plan that eventually would allow students to attend in-state, four-year public colleges and universities tuition-free, if they came from families with annual incomes of up to $125,000. The plan would begin by 2021 and cover about 83 percent of families.
  • Wants to hold colleges accountable for reining in costs and doing more to help students, including disadvantaged students, graduate on time. Would expect students to work 10 hours a week to help defray the cost of college attendance.
  • Wants to make it easier for those in public service, including teachers, to have their loans forgiven.
  • As a senator in 2007, introduced legislation to expand access to Pell Grants for so-called nontraditional students and to provide competitive grants to revamp remedial education classes.
  • In an interview with Inside Higher Education, Sam Clovis, who is advising Trump on domestic policy, said the candidate wants student loans to originate with banks, not the federal government.
  • Clovis also said colleges should have “skin in the game” when it comes to college loans, an idea that has raised concerns about low-income students’ ability to enroll in higher education.
  • The adviser expressed interest in shifting the U.S. Department of Education’s office for civil rights, which among other duties tracks incidents of sexual violence on college campuses, to the U.S. Department of Justice.
  • The candidate is known for having opened the now-defunct Trump University, which is the subject of legal complaints that it defrauded students.
"It’s hard enough to pay for any preschool or child care at all, let alone the quality programs that help kids develop and flourish. Funding for these opportunities has not kept up with changing times and rising demand."
—Campaign appearance in New Hampshire
  • Proposes to double spending on Early Head Start and the Early Head Start-Child Care Partnership program.
  • Would expand preschool to every 4-year-old over a 10-year period. President Barack Obama's "preschool for all" initiative has a $75 billion price tag.
  • Would cap the share of a family's income spent on child care at 10 percent by expanding access to such programs.
  • As first lady of Arkansas in the 1980s, spearheaded an effort to bring an Israeli program known as Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youth to the state.
  • As first lady of the United States in the early 1990s, helped champion the creation of Early Head Start, which expanded the early-childhood education program for low-income families to children from birth to age 3.
  • As a presidential candidate in 2008, pitched a $10 billion-a-year proposal to help states expand their early-childhood offerings, with the goal of giving all 4-year-olds access to prekindergarten programs.
  • As a U.S. senator from New York in 2007, introduced the “Ready to Learn Act,” which would have added competitive grants for prekindergarten and other early-childhood programs to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, which was up for renewal that year.
"For many families in our country, child care is now the single largest expense—who would think that—even more so than housing. Yet very little meaningful policy work has been done in this area."
—Speech in Aston, Pa.
  • On Sept. 13, proposed guaranteeing six weeks of maternity leave, paid for by eliminating fraud in the unemployment insurance program.
  • Plan would also allow Earned Income Tax Credit dollars for lower-income families to be placed into a savings account and used for "child enrichment activities" including private school tuition.
  • Child-care costs could be deductible from taxes up to certain income levels, as well as for stay-at-home parents.
  • Dependent-care savings accounts would be available to all. Lower-income families, if they contributed $1,000 into these accounts, would receive $500 in federal aid for those accounts.
  • Plan would offer incentives for employers to provide on-site day care by changing the federal tax credit for such programs, and also create an additional tax deduction for employers.
"The Every Student Succeeds Act is not perfect, but it puts us on a path to provide states and teachers flexibility to serve the needs of their students while also ensuring schools are held accountable to raise achievement for all students."
—Statement after ESSA’s passage in December, 2015
  • Supports this bipartisan reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.
  • Said that the federal government will have to provide the funding necessary to fulfill the law’s promises.
  • Thinks the federal government should oversee states’ development and implementation of ESSA accountability systems.
  • Has taken no explicit position on ESSA, the newest version of the main federal K-12 law.
  • As a Republican nominee, might be expected to support the fact that ESSA returns several key areas of policymaking to states and districts.
  • In one Facebook video, for example, praised local school boards.
"I have for many years now, about 30 years, supported the idea of charter schools, but not as a substitute for the public schools, but as a supplement for the public schools."
—Town hall meeting, South Carolina
  • Said public schools can learn from successful charter schools in a recent speech to the National Education Association, drawing boos from the audience.
  • Offended some charter school advocates last year by saying that charters don’t serve all students, unlike traditional public schools.
  • Praised provisions to expand high-quality charter schools in the Every Student Succeeds Act.
  • Opposes private school vouchers. In fact, in a 2008 interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, she said they could be used to fund training grounds for jihad.
"Education reformers call this school choice, charter schools, vouchers, even opportunity scholarships. I call it competition—the American way."
The America We Deserve (2000)
  • Said in his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention that he would help kids in "failing schools by helping their parents send them to a safe school of their choice."
  • In a Sept. 8 speech, proposed a $20 billion federal investment in school choice programs around the country, which he says would be particularly helpful for inner-city students attending poorly performing schools. Vouchers generated by this money would be worth up to $12,000 for each student, according to Trump's campaign.
  • Called for that federal money to be combined with over $100 billion in state and local funds to be used for low-income students at public and private schools.
"We have too many kids in our country right now who are living in poverty, who are going to schools like the ones in Detroit that have mold and rodents in them."
—Democratic debate, Flint, Mich.
  • Wants to create “Modernize Every School Bonds,” a five-year $275 billion infrastructure program.
  • Wants to bring ultra high-speed, fiber-optic broadband to schools and libraries and ensure that every household has access to broadband.
  • As a senator, introduced legislation to create state and multistate “infrastructure banks” that could be used to cover school construction projects.
"We can’t get a f---ing school built in Brooklyn."
—Speech in Las Vegas
  • In an April speech, lamented spending on roads and schools in Iraq while school construction in the U.S. has languished.
  • Hasn’t laid out a plan to address school construction needs around the country.
  • Wants to help districts expand proven programs aimed at bettering student behavior.
  • Would direct the Education Department’s office for civil rights to investigate schools with discipline disparities.
  • Supports schools looking for alternatives to school resource officers (on-site police officers who have the power to arrest).
  • Would stop the transfer of federal military equipment to any police departments that serve only K-12 schools.
"You know what a gun-free zone is for a sicko? That’s bait."
—Campaign speech in Vermont
  • Opposes federal gun-free school zones and has said he would get rid of them as president.
  • Has said that armed teachers would help improve school safety.
  • Promoted school choice in his nomination acceptance speech in part by stressing that his presidential administration would help parents find a "safe school" for their children.
  • Has said sufficient education funding is necessary to implement the Every Student Succeeds Act.
  • Has called for new investments in computer science education, early-childhood education, college access, and more.
  • Wants to double funding for the Education Innovation and Research grants, the successor to the $120 million Investing in Innovation program.
"We’re number one in terms of cost per pupil by a factor of, worldwide, by a factor of many. Number two is so far behind, forget it."
—CNN town hall
  • Said he envisions a better educational system that also spends less.
  • Has claimed incorrectly that the United States is No. 1 in the world in per-pupil spending, although the country does rank high in that regard.
"I want all educators, at every stage of your careers, to know that they’ll be able to keep learning, improving, innovating. And that goes for administrators, too."
—Speech to National Education Association
  • As a presidential candidate, endorsed by both the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers, has said she wants to expand professional-development opportunities for teachers and pay them more, without offering specifics.
  • Has made it clear she does not favor a federal requirement for teacher evaluations tied to test scores.
  • Told the NEA she would have teachers’ backs when governors and legislatures tried to take away their collective bargaining rights.
  • As first lady of Arkansas, helped push for a basic-skills test for educators. Policy earned her and her husband, Gov. Bill Clinton, the ire of the Arkansas Education Association.
  • As a U.S. senator, introduced bills to improve principal recruitment and training, including in struggling schools, and to authorize funding for the Teach For America program.
"Our public schools have grown up in a competition-free zone surrounded by a very high union wall."
The America We Deserve
  • Has been highly critical of teachers’ unions and their impact on education.
  • In The America We Deserve, said unions and Democrats have a symbiotic relationship, with the unions contributing to Democrats and receiving protection in return.
"Tests should go back to their original purpose, giving useful information to teachers and parents. … But when you’re forced to teach to a test, our children miss out on some of the most valuable lessons."
—Speech to National Education Association
  • As a U.S. senator in 2001, voted in favor of the No Child Left Behind Act, which called for all states to test students in grades 3-8 and once in high school.
  • On campaign trail in 2016, has said tests should be used to inform instruction and school improvement but shouldn’t overtake student learning.
  • Has called for “fewer and better” tests, but has not been specific about what that would look like.
  • Said she would not opt her 1-year-old granddaughter, Charlotte, out of standardized tests, if she were school age.
  • Hasn’t weighed in publicly with detailed thoughts on testing in schools.
"That agency doesn’t always get it right. But it provides vital support for programs from pre-K to Pell Grants and crucial resources that help low-income students, students with disabilities, and English-language learners."
—Speech to National Education Association
  • Has made it clear she would not eliminate the department.
  • Has not released a plan to revamp or scale back the size of the department.
"Well, the greatest function of all by far [of the U.S. government] is security for our nation. I would also say health care, I would also say education."
—Town hall event
  • At a CNN town-hall event earlier this year, said that education was one of the three most important priorities of the federal government.
  • Still, has pledged to drastically cut or eliminate the U.S. Department of Education during his presidency.
Hillary Clinton

  • U.S. secretary of state, 2009 to 2013
  • U.S. senator, New York, 2001 to 2009
  • First lady of the U.S., 1993 to 2001
  • First lady of Arkansas, 1979 to 1981; 1983 to 1992
Donald Trump

  • Chairman and president of the Trump Organization, which oversees investments in hotels, resorts, golf courses, merchandise, and other business ventures
  • Author and co-author of several books, including The Art of the Deal and The America We Deserve
  • Appeared on and produced “The Apprentice” reality-TV show
Hillary Clinton

"When I think about the really unfortunate argument that’s been going on around common core, it’s very painful, because the common core started off as a bipartisan effort—it was actually nonpartisan. It wasn’t politicized, it was to try to come up with a core of learning that we might expect students to achieve across our country."
—Community college speech as reported by The Washington Post, April 2015
  • Supports the Common Core State Standards.
  • As first lady of Arkansas, led an effort to raise graduation standards and expand rigorous course offerings.
  • As a U.S. senator, introduced legislation calling for states to create voluntary math and science standards.
Donald Trump

"So, common core is a total disaster. We can’t let it continue."
—Facebook video
  • Has been clear throughout the campaign: wants the Common Core State Standards gone.
  • The federal government can’t get rid of the standards unless it adopts a new law banning the common core outright, which is very unlikely.
  • Hasn’t detailed why he detests the standards so much. But that didn’t stop him from attacking former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, his one-time rival for the GOP nomination, for supporting the common core.
Hillary Clinton

"Bullying has always been around, but it seems to have gotten somehow easier and more widespread because of social media and the Internet. … I think we all need to be aware of the pain and the anguish that bullying can cause."
—Iowa town hall event
  • Would resurrect the School Climate and Transformation grant program, which received $23 million in fiscal 2014, and increase it to $200 million.
  • That money could be used to help schools create “school climate support teams” made up of social workers, behavorial specialists, and educators to help districts rethink their approach to discipline.
  • Wants to make sure other federal funds can be used to train teachers on so-called restorative-justice practices, in which students seek to make amends for their actions.
  • Has said that Trump’s campaign tactics set a bad example for students on bullying.
Donald Trump

  • Hasn’t specifically weighed in on bullying in schools, which has gotten more attention in recent years.
  • The Southern Poverty Law Center, an advocacy group, recently cited an unscientific survey of teachers it said shows that Trump’s campaign rhetoric is linked to more students feeling unsafe or singled out by their peers.
Hillary Clinton

  • Backs a plan that eventually would allow students to attend in-state, four-year public colleges and universities tuition-free, if they came from families with annual incomes of up to $125,000. The plan would begin by 2021 and cover about 83 percent of families.
  • Wants to hold colleges accountable for reining in costs and doing more to help students, including disadvantaged students, graduate on time. Would expect students to work 10 hours a week to help defray the cost of college attendance.
  • Wants to make it easier for those in public service, including teachers, to have their loans forgiven.
  • As a senator in 2007, introduced legislation to expand access to Pell Grants for so-called nontraditional students and to provide competitive grants to revamp remedial education classes.
Donald Trump

  • In an interview with Inside Higher Education, Sam Clovis, who is advising Trump on domestic policy, said the candidate wants student loans to originate with banks, not the federal government.
  • Clovis also said colleges should have “skin in the game” when it comes to college loans, an idea that has raised concerns about low-income students’ ability to enroll in higher education.
  • The adviser expressed interest in shifting the U.S. Department of Education’s office for civil rights, which among other duties tracks incidents of sexual violence on college campuses, to the U.S. Department of Justice.
  • The candidate is known for having opened the now-defunct Trump University, which is the subject of legal complaints that it defrauded students.
Hillary Clinton

"It’s hard enough to pay for any preschool or child care at all, let alone the quality programs that help kids develop and flourish. Funding for these opportunities has not kept up with changing times and rising demand."
—Campaign appearance in New Hampshire
  • Proposes to double spending on Early Head Start and the Early Head Start-Child Care Partnership program.
  • Would expand preschool to every 4-year-old over a 10-year period. President Barack Obama's "preschool for all" initiative has a $75 billion price tag.
  • Would cap the share of a family's income spent on child care at 10 percent by expanding access to such programs.
  • As first lady of Arkansas in the 1980s, spearheaded an effort to bring an Israeli program known as Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youth to the state.
  • As first lady of the United States in the early 1990s, helped champion the creation of Early Head Start, which expanded the early-childhood education program for low-income families to children from birth to age 3.
  • As a presidential candidate in 2008, pitched a $10 billion-a-year proposal to help states expand their early-childhood offerings, with the goal of giving all 4-year-olds access to prekindergarten programs.
  • As a U.S. senator from New York in 2007, introduced the “Ready to Learn Act,” which would have added competitive grants for prekindergarten and other early-childhood programs to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, which was up for renewal that year.
Donald Trump

"For many families in our country, child care is now the single largest expense—who would think that—even more so than housing. Yet very little meaningful policy work has been done in this area."
—Speech in Aston, Pa.
  • On Sept. 13, proposed guaranteeing six weeks of maternity leave, paid for by eliminating fraud in the unemployment insurance program.
  • Plan would also allow Earned Income Tax Credit dollars for lower-income families to be placed into a savings account and used for "child enrichment activities" including private school tuition.
  • Child-care costs could be deductible from taxes up to certain income levels, as well as for stay-at-home parents.
  • Dependent-care savings accounts would be available to all. Lower-income families, if they contributed $1,000 into these accounts, would receive $500 in federal aid for those accounts.
  • Plan would offer incentives for employers to provide on-site day care by changing the federal tax credit for such programs, and also create an additional tax deduction for employers.
Hillary Clinton

"The Every Student Succeeds Act is not perfect, but it puts us on a path to provide states and teachers flexibility to serve the needs of their students while also ensuring schools are held accountable to raise achievement for all students."
—Statement after ESSA’s passage in December, 2015
  • Supports this bipartisan reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.
  • Said that the federal government will have to provide the funding necessary to fulfill the law’s promises.
  • Thinks the federal government should oversee states’ development and implementation of ESSA accountability systems.
Donald Trump

  • Has taken no explicit position on ESSA, the newest version of the main federal K-12 law.
  • As a Republican nominee, might be expected to support the fact that ESSA returns several key areas of policymaking to states and districts.
  • In one Facebook video, for example, praised local school boards.
Hillary Clinton

"I have for many years now, about 30 years, supported the idea of charter schools, but not as a substitute for the public schools, but as a supplement for the public schools."
—Town hall meeting, South Carolina
  • Said public schools can learn from successful charter schools in a recent speech to the National Education Association, drawing boos from the audience.
  • Offended some charter school advocates last year by saying that charters don’t serve all students, unlike traditional public schools.
  • Praised provisions to expand high-quality charter schools in the Every Student Succeeds Act.
  • Opposes private school vouchers. In fact, in a 2008 interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, she said they could be used to fund training grounds for jihad.
Donald Trump

"Education reformers call this school choice, charter schools, vouchers, even opportunity scholarships. I call it competition—the American way."
The America We Deserve (2000)
  • Said in his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention that he would help kids in "failing schools by helping their parents send them to a safe school of their choice."
  • In a Sept. 8 speech, proposed a $20 billion federal investment in school choice programs around the country, which he says would be particularly helpful for inner-city students attending poorly performing schools. Vouchers generated by this money would be worth up to $12,000 for each student, according to Trump's campaign.
  • Called for that federal money to be combined with over $100 billion in state and local funds to be used for low-income students at public and private schools.
Hillary Clinton

"We have too many kids in our country right now who are living in poverty, who are going to schools like the ones in Detroit that have mold and rodents in them."
—Democratic debate, Flint, Mich.
  • Wants to create “Modernize Every School Bonds,” a five-year $275 billion infrastructure program.
  • Wants to bring ultra high-speed, fiber-optic broadband to schools and libraries and ensure that every household has access to broadband.
  • As a senator, introduced legislation to create state and multistate “infrastructure banks” that could be used to cover school construction projects.
Donald Trump

"We can’t get a f---ing school built in Brooklyn."
—Speech in Las Vegas
  • In an April speech, lamented spending on roads and schools in Iraq while school construction in the U.S. has languished.
  • Hasn’t laid out a plan to address school construction needs around the country.
Hillary Clinton

  • Wants to help districts expand proven programs aimed at bettering student behavior.
  • Would direct the Education Department’s office for civil rights to investigate schools with discipline disparities.
  • Supports schools looking for alternatives to school resource officers (on-site police officers who have the power to arrest).
  • Would stop the transfer of federal military equipment to any police departments that serve only K-12 schools.
Donald Trump

"You know what a gun-free zone is for a sicko? That’s bait."
—Campaign speech in Vermont
  • Opposes federal gun-free school zones and has said he would get rid of them as president.
  • Has said that armed teachers would help improve school safety.
  • Promoted school choice in his nomination acceptance speech in part by stressing that his presidential administration would help parents find a "safe school" for their children.
Hillary Clinton

  • Has said sufficient education funding is necessary to implement the Every Student Succeeds Act.
  • Has called for new investments in computer science education, early-childhood education, college access, and more.
  • Wants to double funding for the Education Innovation and Research grants, the successor to the $120 million Investing in Innovation program.
Donald Trump

"We’re number one in terms of cost per pupil by a factor of, worldwide, by a factor of many. Number two is so far behind, forget it."
—CNN town hall
  • Said he envisions a better educational system that also spends less.
  • Has claimed incorrectly that the United States is No. 1 in the world in per-pupil spending, although the country does rank high in that regard.
Hillary Clinton

"I want all educators, at every stage of your careers, to know that they’ll be able to keep learning, improving, innovating. And that goes for administrators, too."
—Speech to National Education Association
  • As a presidential candidate, endorsed by both the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers, has said she wants to expand professional-development opportunities for teachers and pay them more, without offering specifics.
  • Has made it clear she does not favor a federal requirement for teacher evaluations tied to test scores.
  • Told the NEA she would have teachers’ backs when governors and legislatures tried to take away their collective bargaining rights.
  • As first lady of Arkansas, helped push for a basic-skills test for educators. Policy earned her and her husband, Gov. Bill Clinton, the ire of the Arkansas Education Association.
  • As a U.S. senator, introduced bills to improve principal recruitment and training, including in struggling schools, and to authorize funding for the Teach For America program.
Donald Trump

"Our public schools have grown up in a competition-free zone surrounded by a very high union wall."
The America We Deserve
  • Has been highly critical of teachers’ unions and their impact on education.
  • In The America We Deserve, said unions and Democrats have a symbiotic relationship, with the unions contributing to Democrats and receiving protection in return.
Hillary Clinton

"Tests should go back to their original purpose, giving useful information to teachers and parents. … But when you’re forced to teach to a test, our children miss out on some of the most valuable lessons."
—Speech to National Education Association
  • As a U.S. senator in 2001, voted in favor of the No Child Left Behind Act, which called for all states to test students in grades 3-8 and once in high school.
  • On campaign trail in 2016, has said tests should be used to inform instruction and school improvement but shouldn’t overtake student learning.
  • Has called for “fewer and better” tests, but has not been specific about what that would look like.
  • Said she would not opt her 1-year-old granddaughter, Charlotte, out of standardized tests, if she were school age.
Donald Trump

  • Hasn’t weighed in publicly with detailed thoughts on testing in schools.
Hillary Clinton

"That agency doesn’t always get it right. But it provides vital support for programs from pre-K to Pell Grants and crucial resources that help low-income students, students with disabilities, and English-language learners."
—Speech to National Education Association
  • Has made it clear she would not eliminate the department.
  • Has not released a plan to revamp or scale back the size of the department.
Donald Trump

"Well, the greatest function of all by far [of the U.S. government] is security for our nation. I would also say health care, I would also say education."
—Town hall event
  • At a CNN town-hall event earlier this year, said that education was one of the three most important priorities of the federal government.
  • Still, has pledged to drastically cut or eliminate the U.S. Department of Education during his presidency.


Reporting: Alyson Klein and Andrew Ujifusa | Design & Visualization: Sumi Bannerjee

An alternate version of this story appeared as "K-12 Issues: Where the Candidates Stand" in the July 20, 2016, edition of Education Week.

Vol. 35, Issue 36, Pages 22-23

Published in Print: July 20, 2016, as K-12 Issues: Where the Candidates Stand
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