March 2, 2021
On March 1st, the Senate confirmed Dr. Miguel Cardona as the 12th U.S. Secretary of Education. In the letter below, Dr. Javaid Siddiqi, President & CEO of The Hunt Institute and Dan Weisberg, CEO of TNTP, call on Secretary Cardona and President Biden to focus on two bold priorities: adding one million new teachers of color to our schools in the next decade, and accelerating students back to grade level.
If you’d like to help us call on the administration to focus on teacher diversity and learning acceleration, you can add your name to the letter we’ll deliver to Secretary Cardona.
Dear Secretary Cardona,
Congratulations on your confirmation as Secretary of Education. With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to cause unprecedented disruption to P-20 education across the country, strong leadership at the Department has never been more critical.
Conversation about this crisis has mostly focused on the logistics of reopening school buildings safely, and the urgent need for federal funds to make that possible. While that should be a top priority as part of a broader stimulus package and COVID-19 response plan, the federal response on education shouldn’t end there.
Even after students are back in classrooms, schools will need to help them make up for tremendous losses in learning, even as they face the prospect of significant budget cuts. One widely-cited study predicted that students will see a learning loss of 30 percent in reading and 50 percent in math as a result of the pandemic. These setbacks have exacerbated fundamental inequities that have already disproportionately affected students of color, those from low-income families, those learning English, and those with special needs—a challenge President Biden highlighted as a candidate.