Major Policy Victory for Trump Passes the Senate

**COMMERCIAL IMAGE** In this photo taken by Feature Photo Service for IBM: Lauded by the U.S. Department of Education and President Obama, the IBM-inspired P-TECH school in Brooklyn, NY, where teens earn both a community college degree and high school diploma in as little as four years, graduated 27 students last evening at the commencement exercises held by the New York City College of Technology (City University of New York's "City Tech") at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY on June 2, 2016. Staring directly at the camera is Elisabel Herrera, one of the 2016 P-TECH graduates, who typically either continue on to four-year colleges or apply for jobs at technology companies like IBM. There are expected to be 60 IBM-inspired P-TECH schools in six states this fall. Nationally, less than 30% of students who enroll in two-year community colleges complete their associate's degree within three years, according to the U.S. Dept. of Education. (Jon Simon/Feature Photo Service for IBM)

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 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.