Donald Trump likes to talk about winners and losers, mostly that he’s a winner and that pretty much everybody else is a loser. It seems his definition of a winner is someone who is bold, strong, and of course, successful in business. Of course there are many who question whether he really is the “yuuuuge” business success he claims, but at the very least, he has made himself appear successful.
Of course, we know that things are not always how they first appear. Trump may appear to be strong, decisive and ready to “Make America Great Again” but he truly has not offered one viable solution to do that. Take K-12 education for example. The only plan he has voiced is to rid us of Common Core (something he wouldn’t have the power to do.) Given his focus on business, I’m guessing “The Donald’s” plan for education involves making our students commodities to be traded on the open market; where for-profit schools compete for the spoils and students are turned into winners and losers.
Problem is, I don’t think the American public really wants a “winners and losers” outcome from our public education system. Rather, I believe the vast majority want first, their child to be a “winner” and then, for all children to have the opportunity to win. Most of us recognize it behooves us all to ensure we keep all students “in the game” and moving toward the goal line.
Of course there are many who aren’t losing as a result of the corporate reform movement of public education. There are those who are profiting from the semi-or full privatization of K-12 education, a $700 billion market in the U.S. There are state legislators who would deflect their responsibility for educating the state’s children by encouraging parents to give up their child’s right to public education so they can use the voucher system. There are also parents who are wealthy enough to send their children to private schools on their own dime, but are happy to take our money (tax dollars) and pocket their own.
The bottom line if we continue to allow a system of education that produces winners and losers, is that we all lose. There is a significant cost to our society whenever a student does not succeed in school and it is a cost we likely bear in one form or another for the entire life of that student. Only when all students regardless of socio-economic status, graduate ready to become productive citizens of our democracy do we all win. In this time of “it’s all about me and mine” it would serve us best to remember we really are “all in this together.”