Everybody knows that the public education system in the U.S. is a mess. Will Trump do anything to fix the problem?
Presidential candidate Donald Trump released a new video Tuesday in which he reiterates his pledge to kill Common Core and says U.S. public schools are in catastrophic shape.
“I’m a tremendous believer in education, but education has to be at a local level,” Trump says to open a video he put on Facebook Tuesday. “We cannot have the bureaucrats in Washington telling you how to manage your child’s education.”
“So Common Core’s a total disaster,” he continues. “We can’t let it continue.”
Trump then makes a brief but intense attack on the quality of U.S. schools.
“We are rated 28 in the world, the United States, think of it! Twenty-eight in the world,” he says. “And frankly we spend far more per pupil than any other country in the world, by far; it’s not even a close second.” The U.S. is performing so badly, Trump says, that some “Third World countries” are beating it.
Trump’s description of the U.S. as 28th in the world appears to be derived from 2015 rankings released by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which placed the U.S. 28th in a ranking of countries based on international test scores.
Other parts of Trump’s comments don’t ring entirely true, though. While the U.S. does spend more than most countries on education, a handful of countries (Austria, Luxembourg, Norway, and Switzerland) spend more. Trump’s characterization of Common Core as the work of Washington bureaucrats is flawed as well. While the oft-criticized math and science standards do aspire to be national in scope, they were not created by the federal government. Instead, they were created at the behest of the National Governor’s Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers, two collaborative bodies of state-level officials.