December 6, 2019
Reviewing Education Proposals from 2020 Presidential Candidates
The U.S. education system is struggling: Poor proficiency measures in K-12 reading and math scores and the projected skills shortage in the labor market indicate that the current system is not performing adequately. While there is a clear need for structural reform, the presidential candidates are largely ignoring the fundamental problems in their proposed education policies — if they address education at all — contend AAF experts Isabel Soto and Tom Lee in a new analysis of campaign education proposals.
Their central points:
- The need for robust education reform has become more urgent as the labor market changes and tightens, and yet the presidential candidates on the whole are not focused on education policy;
- The main policy proposals offered by Democratic presidential candidates so far — forgiving student debt and making college tuition free — are palliative solutions that do not address the fundamental causes of an underperforming education system; and
- Candidates have offered some proposals for reforming K-12 education and encouraging apprenticeships, but more proposals are needed for aligning the needs of the workforce with the goals and structure of the education system.