Were you worried that the Republican presidential field just wasn’t big and quirky enough, didn’t include enough people jabbing at Jeb Bush for being a Common Core champion ... or enough people with a strong connection to Bret Michaels?
Well, breathe a sigh of relief. Real estate developer Donald Trump is joining the 2016 GOP presidential primary field. Yes, it’s true that most people associate Trump’s K-12 policy record with, umm ... the fact that some of the contestants on Celebrity Apprentice were playing for charities that help kids. (Think American Idol runner-up Clay Aiken and the National Inclusion Project for students in special education.)
But Trump actually has a record. Kinda. He ran a for-profit college, Trump University, which was sued by New York State for misleading students into thinking they were attending a real college, when in fact the school was unlicensed. (The school hasn’t offered a course in years, according to this article in The Atlantic from 2014.)
And in a speech at the Iowa Freedom Summit this year Trump engaged in the favorite sport of Republican primary contenders: Bashing Jeb Bush for his support of Common Core.
“The last thing we need is another Bush,” Trump said, according to this C-SPAN transcript . “He’s totally in favor of Common Core.”
Trump is also a fan of school choice (like most Republicans). Here’s an excerpt from his book, The America We Deserve, as reprinted by a Washington-based advocacy organization, American Principles in Action.
“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. ... 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.”
The book, which came out in 2000, also urged the nation to stop “dumbing down” education, according to excerpts published by “On the Issues.”