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Education Policies for 2017 in US under President-Elect Donald Trump’s Administration: 4 Ways to Improve on it!

These laws will ensure that federal government has minimal interference in students’ higher education choices

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US President-elect Donald Trump. Wikimedia
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November 15, 2016: The President-elect of USA, Donald Trump, has an opportunity to work on some education policies for 2017.

Trump had prioritized Education policies in his election campaign. Now, the Trump administration would seize the best opportunity to advance the education choices for children in Washington, D.C. Trump will most certainly reverse Obama’s policies which had increased the federal intervention in education.

For example, the federal Student Loan program turns billions of dollars profit every year. According to Trump, these loans shouldn’t make government any profit, and yet it does. He believes that the loans should be like investing in America’s future.

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We believe that Trump’s administration will definitely accomplish its goals by working on the following issues:

  1. Supporting the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program.

 The D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program is the United States’ first federal funded school voucher program.  It is the financial source for many low-income children in Washington D.C. The Fund provides for tuition and other fees at the participating private schools. The Program was, approved in 2003, expired in 2009. Then, in 2011, under the SOAR Act, the Program was reauthorized.

While there is no solid evidence to prove that OSP has affected student’s achievement, the program has definitely increased the graduation rates of the capital. In a randomized controlled trial, conducted by the Department of Education in 2010, students who used their vouchers had a graduation rate of 91%. Students who were offered vouchers had an 82% graduation rate. This shows that rate for students who weren’t given vouchers was only 70 percent.

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As the statistics suggest, the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program has increased the educational opportunities for students in the nation’s capital.

The first decade of the Program has been a great success. The next administrator, Donald Trump, should support the education choice in the nation’s capital. The policies need to be expanded to more district families.

2. Rescinding ESSA regulations

President Obama signed the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) on 10th December, 2015. This Act reauthorized the old Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) that commits equal opportunities to all the students.

The ESSA serves as a heavy-handed law that will control day-to-day affairs of local schools including expenditures, staffs and accounts. The law affects more than 49 million schoolchildren of America studying in local schools. The main issue with the ESSA is that it hands out almost all the authority to the state, so the state has to step in for improving schools and provide meaningful plans for the institutions.

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 Trump should rescind these regulations and support the long term conservative legislative policy that allows states to opt out from ESSA

3. Rolling back higher education regulations

The Department of Education, under Obama, supported policies like broadcasting policies that unfairly single out for-profit universities. These policies picked losers and winners of the higher education sector.

The Trump administration needs to bring back two major regulations including Defense against Repayment and Gainful Employment.

Defense against Repayment allows students to get out of paying back the student loans if they prove that they faced “acts or omissions of an institute of higher education”.

Gainful Employment is a regulation that vocational programs and for-profit colleges will ensure that their graduates don’t have loan repayments exceeding 20% of their income.

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4. Common core

The Common Core is an educational initiative in USA that explains in detail what K-12 students need to know in English Language arts at Mathematics in each grade.  If Trump refrains the state from using its authority under ESSA, it would be very easy for states to ditch the Common Core.

President-Elect Donald Trump released his first 100 days plan in office. Apart from detailed proposal on trade war, term limits and mass deportations, the plan had an outlined proposal on the education policy. These included:

a. Addition of a federal investment of $20 billion for the school choice. This will be achieved by re-prioritizing the existing federal currency.
b. Give the state the authority and funds to follow students to public or private schools. The grant distribution will favour school with private school choice, magnet schools. This will encourage more school to participate.
c. Achieving the goal of providing school choice to 11 million school-aged children.
d. Ensure that the universities are making an effort to reduce the college’s cost. The cost will be exchanged for the tax dollars.
e. Ensure that vocational and technical education is accessible.

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Revoking such regulations would open gates to innovation in higher education and the marketplace will be a determinant of quality. These laws will also ensure that federal government has minimal interference in students’ higher education choices. Promoting education choice will help the low-income families in the capital and also promoting advance education choices.

 by Diksha Arya of NewsGram. Twitter: @diksha_arya53

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Brown: The colour of toil but non-acceptance across the West?

"This is now our destiny as brown people. Our labour is needed, but citizenship is denied."

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Police Chief David Brown. Image Source: Twitter
  • Kamal Al Solaylee’s book Brown highlights the problems of ‘brown’ people in Trump’s rule
  • Donald Trump is often accused of malingering the image of brown people
  • this book cites many examples of discrimination which brown people go through

Title: Brown: What Being Brown in the World Today Means (to Everyone); Author: Kamal Al Solaylee

All our social development and our technological advancements don’t seem enough to eradicate our long-persisting atavistic sense of difference based on appearance, which though long-suppressed is now emerging free from its restraints — as proved by the recent intemperate comments by US President Donald Trump on immigrants from a certain set of countries.

Trump’s thinking, as seen in his off-the-cuff remarks, underscore that the questionable classification of race, expressed by the obviously evident and inescapable feature of a person’s skin, is well alive — and extends beyond the white-black binary. What about the yellow, or rather, the (as necessary for the global economy but far more exploited) brown?

Donald Trump is famous for his rude comments towards brown people. wikimedia commons
Donald Trump is famous for his rude comments towards brown people. wikimedia commons

Trump is only one leading manifestation of the malaise facing brown people — which include West Asians, Latin Americans, North Africans, and South and Southeast Asians — and far beyond the West too or from the “Whites”, says Yemeni-origin, Egypt-bred, Canadian journalist-turned-academician Al Solaylee in this book.

Trump’s victory “largely (but not exclusively)” rode on demonising Mexicans, galvanising sentiment against Muslims and championing white nationalism, the vote for Brexit was mostly pioneered by those with a restrictive view of Englishness, the record of Canada under Stephen Harper’s Conservatives — all these are obscure racial conflicts brewing in the US and Europe for decades now.

Also Read: Mexico can learn about dealing with diaspora from India: Claudia Ruiz-Massieu Salinas

“Examine these tensions closely and you’ll find a strong anti-brown sentiment at the core,” says Al Solaylee as he traces the response to, as well as the experiences of, the residents of Global South, who are forced to migrate to — and much needed in — the Developed North for various reasons, not least of which is the latter’s colonial record.

“Brown as the colour of cheap labour continues on a global scale… brown bodies undertake the work that white and older immigrant Americans refuse to do (and those black slaves were forced to do in previous centuries).

These are low-skill, labour-intensive jobs in unforgiving climates,” he says, but also that these are not limited to the Western nations but also in the more affluent parts of Asia itself too.

“This is now our destiny as brown people. Our labour is needed, but citizenship is denied; our presence as Muslims or religious minorities is offered as an example of the tolerant, diverse societies in which we live, but we continue to be feared,” says Al Solaylee.

And there is no difference whether this is deliberate or mistaken as he goes to cite the cases of the racist slurs on Sikh volunteers feeding the homeless in Manchester in the wake of the May 2017 terror attack, or the fatal shooting of Indian techie Srinivas Kuchibhotla in the US in February 2017 by an American who thought he and his friend were Iranians and screaming at them to “get out of his country”.

Al Solaylee contends we think of brown as a “continuum, a grouping — a metaphor, even — for the millions of darker-skinned people who, in broad historical terms, have missed out on the economic and political gains of the post-mobility, equality and freedom”. They are now living, he says, among former colonial masters where they are “transforming themselves from nameless individuals with swarthy skins into neighbours, co-workers and friends”.

You may also like: List of 50 People who have affected Hinduism in a Negative Manner 

And it is their story he tells — both in their homes from the Philippines to Sri Lanka and workplaces from Hong Kong to the Gulf as well as Western Europe and North America.

Al Solaylee, however, starts with first recounting his own childhood experience on learning he is brown after seeing an English movie featuring a white child and coming to terms with “brownness” in his journeys around the world and interactions with other browns (fairness creams figure largely as well as the concern that he settle down) as well as Brown’s significance in nature and culture.

He then takes up the human obsession with race, despite the concept being debunked, except in politics before his exploration of the experiences and consequences of being brown around the world.

A stirring travelogue, incisive social and political comment and a passionate cry to rise above unavoidable consequences of geography and genes, this invaluable work rises in importance beyond its subject to be a seminal guide to the world today — and what it will soon be — particularly the US. IANS