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Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump’s Stance on Current American Education

In 2016, the presidential candidates still press for accountability for students’ performance and debate the federal government’s role in education, but the higher profile issues are student loan reform and making college more affordable—even tuition-free—for some students.

Democratic candidate

Hillary Clinton
On July 6, 2016, Hillary Clinton introduced a new student loan reform policy to decrease the indebtedness of college graduates. To be implemented over five years, students from families with a combined income of $125,000 or less would be able to attend in-state public colleges without paying tuition. For families earning less $85,000, the plan would be effective immediately. Graduates would also be able to defer their loans after graduation for three months.

On July 5, 2016, Clinton addressed members of the National Education Association, the nation’s largest teachers union. In a speech, she said, “If I am fortunate enough to be elected president, educators will have a partner in the White House, and you’ll always have a seat at the table.” She was cheered for “calling for less standardized testing, more support for vulnerable children and more respect and pay for public school educators,” but members of the audience booed when she discussed her support for charter schools. Clinton said, “When schools get it right, whether they’re traditional public schools or public charter schools, let’s figure out what’s working and share it with schools across America. Rather than starting from ideology, let’s start from what’s best for our kids.”

In the transcript of Clinton’s roundtable with the American Federation of Teachers November 9, 2015, Hillary Clinton stated her opposition to connecting teacher evaluation and pay to test outcomes. She also said that charter schools should be “supplementary, not a substitute” for excellent public schools.

During a town hall meeting on November 7, 2015, Clinton expressed her support for public schools and discussed the role of charter schools. She said, “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. And what I have worked on through my work with the Children’s Defense Fund and my work on education in Arkansas and through my time as first lady and senator is to continue to say charter schools can have a purpose, but you know there are good charter schools and there are bad charter schools, just like there are good public schools and bad public schools. But the original idea, Roland, behind charter schools was to learn what worked and then apply them in the public schools. And here’s a couple of problems. Most charter schools — I don’t want to say every one — but most charter schools, they don’t take the hardest-to-teach kids, or, if they do, they don’t keep them. And so the public schools are often in a no-win situation, because they do, thankfully, take everybody, and then they don’t get the resources or the help and support that they need to be able to take care of every child’s education. So I want parents to be able to exercise choice within the public school system — not outside of it — but within it because I am still a firm believer that the public school system is one of the real pillars of our democracy and it is a path for opportunity.

In a statement released October 24, 2015, Clinton voiced support for the Obama administration’s plan to eliminate unnecessary standardized testing. She wrote, “While testing can provide communities with full information about how our students are doing and help us determine whether we have achievement gaps, we can and must do better. We should be ruthless in looking at tests and eliminating them if they do not actually help us move our kids forward.

Republican candidate

Donald Trump

On September 8, 2016, Trump delivered a speech on education policy in Ohio. He said, “As your president I will be the nation’s biggest cheerleader for school choice. I understand many stale old politicians will resist, but it’s time for our country to start thinking big and correct once again.” He proposed allocating $20 billion towards school choice policies. In his speech in Ohio, Trump also commented on the issue of merit pay for teachers, saying, “I will also support merit pay for teachers so that we reward our best teachers instead of the failed tenure system that rewards bad teachers and punishes the good ones.

Trump gave a speech at the American Legion national convention in Ohio on September 1, 2016, where he discussed his goal of promoting patriotism in U.S. schools. Trump said, “Together, we are going to work on so many shared goals. But I want to begin by discussing one goal that I know is so important to all of you: promoting American pride and patriotism in America’s schools. In a Trump Administration, I plan to work directly with the American Legion to uphold our common values and to help ensure they are taught to America’s children. We want our kids to learn the incredible achievements of America’s history, its institutions, and its heroes. We will stop apologizing for America, and we will start celebrating America. We will be united by our common culture, values and principles – becoming One American Nation…one country, under one constitution, saluting one American Flag. The flag all of you helped to protect and preserve. That flag deserves respect, and I will work with American Legion to help to strengthen respect for our flag – and, by the way, we want young Americans to recite the Pledge of Allegiance.”

In an interview on January 11, 2016, with The Wall Street Journal, Donald Trump said he would do “tremendous cutting” of the federal government. Education policy, he said, should be returned to the states, and he said he would end the Common Core education standards, which conservatives view as federal overreach. “Education should be local and locally managed,” said Trump.

Asked about the Common Core during a radio interview with Hugh Hewitt in February 2015, Trump said, “I think that education should be local, absolutely. I think that for people in Washington to be setting curriculum and to be setting all sorts of standards for people living in Iowa and other places is ridiculous

OVERVIEW OF CANDIDATE POSITIONS

Hillary Clinton opposes connecting teacher evaluations and pay to test outcomes, supports universal preschool and higher teacher pay, and calls for student loan reform.

Donald Trump supports returning education policy to the states and doing away with Common Core education standards.

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The Popularity Of Homeschooling

What used to be considered a fringe group, homeschooling is now one of the fastest growing sectors in education. In many states, recent homeschool enrollment has grown by nearly 10% in the last year.

Easy access to specialized tutoring, parental frustration with the current testing system and common core requirements, and child safety are just a few of the reasons that more and more parents are electing to enroll their children in homeschooling programs.

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More Parents Are Emphasizing Children’s Strengths

In public and private schools today, many children are being classified in ways that prevent them from reaching their highest learning potential. The over diagnosis of issues such as ADHD and the strict requirements of public schools in regards to testing are just a few examples. Instead of dealing with these constraints, many parents are choosing to homeschool their children.

By homeschooling, parents are able to tailor curriculums and teaching methods directly to their children. This allows for children of all learning types—whether they are auditory, kinesthetic, or visual learnings—to focus on their strengths.

 

Help Is Easier To Get

But what happens when parents are unable to give their children help in specific areas such as mathematics? In the past, getting specialized help was something that many homeschoolers could not access but in the world we live in today, math and other specialized tutoring is widely available.

As more parents adopt homeschooling as their preferred method of education, more specialized tutors are becoming available to help parents fill in any knowledge gaps to ensure each child has the education they need.

This style of homeschooling that mixes at home core teaching with external help from tutoring services allows children to have individualized learning paths that are still much more affordable than private school solutions.

 

Are You Homeschooling and Need Help?

If you are a parent that has decided to homeschool your child, there may be times when you need a little extra help, especially when it comes to certain math concepts. At Infinity Math Tutoring, we can provide supplemental help for math at any grade level.

From helping your child grasp tough concepts in high school or helping build strong core understanding in grade school children, the tutors at Infinity Math Tutoring are dedicated to help you give your child the education they deserve.

For more information on our tutoring services and how we can help homeschoolers in Detroit and the surrounding areas, get in touch with us today by calling 734-301-0352.

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STEM vs. STEAM: What difference does “A” make?

In almost every recent discussion about education, you will undoubtedly hear the term STEM. With a focus being placed on the technology sector and certain skills being an absolute necessity in the job market we are entering today, an emphasis on STEM is easily understood. Today, however, there is a new acronym that is starting to gain momentum: STEAM. So what exactly are STEM and STEAM systems of education, why do they matter, and which is better? Here’s what you need to know:

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What Is STEM?

STEM education is a specific system of education that involves science, technology, engineering, and math. At the heart of STEM education is an underlying understanding that the job market today relies on these skills.

Having a deep understanding of technology, engineering principles, science and mathematics is necessary to the progression of the workforce. From critical thinking and problem solving, the skills taught in STEM programs are used for solving real-world issues that jobs will demand.

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What Is STEAM?

Then you have STEAM. Like STEM, the acronym STEAM has science, engineering, technology, and mathematics. But STEAM adds one more core principle: arts. STEAM proponents believe that the arts still belong in core education and are directly able to integrate with STEM education. Proponents believe that STEM is a system of rigorous education and including arts can take away from the core concept of STEM education.

Which Is Better?

Ultimately, the debate wages on with arguments from either side. However, the arguments may have middle ground. The type of arts included in STEAM may not be as liberal as many STEAM proponents suggest. Instead of a focus on music, drama, and theater type arts, technology and scientific integration is necessary. Through design elements for manufacturing and engineering, art is required. Creative thinking and communication is also a core art concept that can be important for STEM subjects.

 

Is Your Child Interested in a STEM career?

The average wage for all STEM occupations nearly double the average for all occupations.Students interested in STEM must develop the confidence to apply many mathematical concepts to real world environments.  Math tutoring can be a valuable tool in developing a student’s confidence and skills in STEM.  Let Infinity Math Tutoring help your child harness the enthusiasm and proficiencies required to pursue a future career in the STEM industries.

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Students Struggling to Meet Wayne State University’s Math Standards

“We wouldn’t be doing our job if we didn’t have a math standard and have people live up to it”

struggling-to-meet-math-standardsTwo years after Mishelle Kennedy finished her classes at Wayne State University, she still can’t get her degree. The Royal Oak Township resident is being held up because she can’t pass a math test – a requirement that administrators say is at the level of high school math.

While 1,970 students graduated last weekend from WSU, an estimated 1,500 others couldn’t because they are in the same bind as Kennedy.

The situation is the result of math placement policies that changed five years ago, but are still impacting students today as WSU works to help these students graduate.

For Kennedy, 43, the lack of a degree means she can’t further her career as a state social worker and possibly earn up to $10,000 more annually to support her four children.

“I can count my money, I can take 33 percent off of a dress on sale at Macy’s. Why do I need algebra?” said Kennedy, who is taking the test again in January.  “Give me math that I would use as a social worker. It is so unfair.”

Howard Shapiro, associate vice president for student services and undergraduate affairs, said his heart goes out to students like Kennedy who are unable to graduate because they can’t pass the math test. He is proud of the university’s high math standards, saying they teach students to think critically.  “We wouldn’t be doing our job if we didn’t have a math standard and have people live up to it,” Shapiro said.  “We should be more subject to criticism if we don’t get people to do math at a reasonable college level.”

The subject of scores of national reports, math is widely regarded as necessary in technology, business, finance and health and critical to global competition.

Before a recent test, many students expressed anxiety because they had taken the test before.  It has  become a big frustration to many traditional students.

Infinity Math Tutoring offers tutoring to help increase confidence in adult learners.   Let Infinity help you reach your career goals.

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