Home > Uncategorized > Want to Know Where The Donald Stands on Public Education? Here’s the Answer: “Trump University”

Want to Know Where The Donald Stands on Public Education? Here’s the Answer: “Trump University”

In all of the verbiage written about Donald Trump I had not read anything about Trump University until yesterday when there was a mention of an ongoing lawsuit against the institution in Politico. When I entered “Trump University” into the Google box it helpfully suggested I enter “Trump University scandal” which, in turn, led to strove of articles including this one from Salon blogger Alex Mierjeski presciently titled “The Donald Trump Scandal No One Is Talking About”. At the time the article was written, last June, the media generally saw his candidacy as a publicity stunt that was unlikely to gain traction and even less likely to derail the Bush-Clinton rematch everyone expected at the time. But reading the article now, it seems to be full of quotes from The Donald that sound like the ones he is using to demean his primary foes and offers an insight into how he would view privatization.

The scandal was summarized in this paragraph:

In August, 2013, New York’s Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced the he was filing a lawsuit against Trump for the dubious promises of his higher education endeavor, Trump University. Schneiderman’s lawsuit alleged that the school’s real estate program, which was unlicensed as an actual university, was complicit in “persistent fraudulent, illegal and deceptive conduct” towards its students, who were often saddled with debt from expensive seminars in lieu of brimming with the promised insider secrets from “Donald Trump’s handpicked instructor[s],” most of whom turned out to have emerged from real estate-derived bankruptcy, or have little background in real estate at all.

Trump’s reaction to the suit was unsurprising given his treatment of his opponents in the primary:

Trump himself pushed back hard against the allegations, calling Schneiderman a publicity seeking “lightweight” with “gross incompetence,” and filed ethics complaints against him, according to reports at the time.

And Mr. Trump’s attitude toward the students who went into debt to pay for his worthless seminars?

When asked his thoughts on making higher education affordable (at a talk at Simmons College in Iowa in April 2015), Trump launched into a garrulous discussion about how jobs were being sucked by China and Mexico––”Mexico is the new China”––and that students saddled with high levels of debt are emerging into a jobless market. We need a strong leader, he said, to bring back those jobs in order for college students to pay off their loans, all but sidestepping the prohibitive tuitions many consider the root cause. 

And, I might add, completing sidestepping the fact that he ran a for profit institution that “…netted around $5 million in profit” according to the lawsuit filed by the “grossly incompetent lightweight” Eric Schneiderman…. profits that he is using to help him land the job as our “strong leader”.

Mr. Trump’s outlook on education? There’s a sucker born every minute who believes that they can get rich quick if they learn insider secrets.

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