A bill recently passed in the Senate is set to become a pivotal part of President Donald Trump’s education agenda, and one of the first signs that the administration is looking to tackle the complex world of education reform in the United States.
The passage of the bill, which works to refocus education policy back to career and technical education, was hailed by Republican Senator Lamar Alexander.
The reauthorization passed by the Senate today makes important updates to current law, including limiting the role of the Dept of Education so states don’t have to ask “Mother May I?,” when they want to make changes to do what is best for their students. https://t.co/pIkRdh2ulf https://t.co/KfmWidk9WA
— Sen. Lamar Alexander (@SenAlexander) July 23, 2018
The bill, a reauthorization of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 1984, has been reauthorized several times throughout its history. What makes it a cornerstone of the Trump Administration’s education policy is the combination of the reauthorization with the planned reorganization of executive branch departments that the administration is also working toward.
That restructuring includes combining the Department of Education with the Department of Labor, and to focus efforts on strengthening education efforts in the U.S. to emphasize career readiness education.
The Perkins Act has been a good thing for the American education system, but its effects aren’t quite as pronounced as they should be, given the country’s cultural insistence that a four-year academic degree is the way to go to be most employable. The result of this mentality has been to over-educate many students while raising the bar too high for others, and technical jobs suffer as a result.
If the Perkins Act and this executive branch restructure are both tied together to form an over-arching education agenda for the United States, then that would be a big policy win for Donald Trump’s administration… and the education of students in the United States in general.