The Trump administration wants to see a more significant emphasis on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) in K-12 education. President Trump’s daughter and senior adviser, Ivanka, is spearheading the administration’s mission and lobbying for K-12 education.
“Given the high and increasing demand for workers with computing skills, it is imperative that all of our students, including women and minorities, have access to computer-science education,” Ivanka Trump wrote in an op-ed with the New York Post.
Last month, President Trump ordered the Department of Education to invest at least $200 million to expand STEM programs nationwide. Ivanka has been leading negotiations with private sector companies to match the president’s funds to advance the role of technology in the K-12 class curriculum. So far, Ivanka has raised $300 million from private companies. Ivanka has met with leaders from several private companies, including Quicken Loans, Lockheed Martin, and Microsoft.
“A cornerstone of our administration’s approach is the integration of coding and computer science into the fabric of not just what we teach, but how we teach,” Ivanka said.
Ivanka has met with leaders in the technology field from across the country, as well as working with students and teachers in the classroom. The senior advisor, who has three young children, will be spending a lot of her time at the White House focused on K-12 improvements and working with the Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.
“Every unemployed, under-employed or discouraged American worker deserves a ladder to financial security and success, and our children deserve the education and training necessary from the start,” Ivanka said.
In her op-ed discussing the role of technology in the classroom, Ivanka emphasized the nation’s workforce and the growing role that tech-related jobs have in the U.S. She also highlighted the lack of curriculum and resources available for students and teachers. According to the White House, 60 percent of U.S. high schools do not offer computer programming. Among minorities, only 34 percent of African Americans have access to computer science classes and among young girls, less than a quarter enroll in computer classes offered.
“Unfortunately, women’s participation in the technology industry is moving in the wrong direction,” Ivanka said.
Women make up only 22 percent of ‘computer-science professionals.’ Ivanka has now become a pioneer to change the stigma and increase the presence of technology calling for computer-based curriculum to start as early as kindergarten.
The president’s daughter has met and spoke with young students and teachers to discuss reforms that need to be made in the classroom. Ivanka has even committed to teaching tech skills to her children, she posted a photo on Instagram of her 6-year-old daughter, Arabella Kushner, learning computer coding.