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    The Senate confirmed Miguel Cardona to serve as the secretary of education Monday. President Joe Biden nominated Cardona amid a nationwide dilemma facing schools, many of which are in limbo between virtual learning and in-person instruction after the COVID-19 pandemic pushed classrooms into closing last year.  The Senate voted 64-33 to confirm Cardona. The Senate has voted 64-33 to CONFIRM Dr. Miguel Cardona as President Biden’s Secretary of Education. — Geoff Bennett (@GeoffRBennett) March 1, 2021 Cardona was previously Connecticut’s education commissioner and garnered bipartisan support during his confirmation hearing largely due to his efforts in reopening most of Connecticut’s schools, The New York Times reported. (RELATED: Biden Education Secretary Pick Says Schools Have Responsibility To Let Biological Males In Girls Sports If They Are Trans) Cardona has been a strong advocate of reopening schools and has argued that virtual learning causes children to fall behind on classwork. He...
    The Senate confirmed Miguel Cardona as Education Secretary on Monday, with Republicans joining Democrats to make the appointment official with bipartisan backing, 64-33. "Dr. Cardona is a public servant," said Sen. Chris Murphy, a Connecticut Democrat who as a former member of the House represented Cardona's hometown of Meriden. "He's a consensus builder. And he's uniquely qualified to help our schools reopen safely, address the gaps that this pandemic has exacerbated among students and tackle racial inequities in our education system."[ MORE: The Education Secretary’s To-Do List ]Cardona, a newcomer to the national education scene, checks many boxes having served as a teacher, principal, district superintendent and most recently as the head of Connecticut's Education Department. Notably, he's spent the entirety of his education career in Connecticut – and only the last year and a half in the state's top post – which has allowed him to, for the most part, sidestep...
    Connecticut Education Commissioner Miguel Cardona appeared before the Senate’s education committee on Wednesday, Feb. 3 for a confirmation hearing after being nominated to serve as the United States' Education Secretary by President Joe Biden. Cardona, a lifelong Meriden resident, was announced as a choice to join Biden’s Cabinet as Education Secretary in late December. If nominated, the 45-year-old Cardona will be tasked with overseeing one of Biden’s key goals for his first 100 days by re-opening the majority of the nation’s elementary and middle schools for in-person learning. Before delivering his opening statement to the Education Committee, Cardona was introduced by Connecticut senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy. Cardona served as co-chairperson of the Connecticut Legislative Achievement Gap Task Force as well as co-chairperson of the Connecticut Birth to Grade Three Leaders Council. He also taught for four years as an adjunct professor at the University of Connecticut in...
    Washington (CNN)Secretary of Education nominee Miguel Cardona told senators Wednesday that if confirmed, he will do everything in his power to reopen schools safely and called for prioritizing educators for the vaccine and increasing Covid testing at schools. Bidens First 100 Days Biden administration announces direct vaccine shipments to pharmacies Biden administration designates Myanmar military takeover as a coup Senate confirms Alejandro Mayorkas to lead Homeland Security and Pete Buttigieg as transportation secretary "There is no substitute for a classroom experience for our students, being in front of their teacher," Cardona, Connecticut's education commissioner, said at his confirmation hearing. "So we have to do everything we can to safely reopen schools in a manner that gets the students back into their learning environment," he added. Cardona, whose family is from Puerto Rico, enjoyed a meteoric rise to the top of Connecticut's public education system. He began his career as...
    WASHINGTON -- President Joe Biden's nominee for education secretary is promising to help reopen schools but says much of the hardest work will come after that as schools try to address long-standing disparities worsened by the pandemic."These inequities will endure, and prevent the potential of this great country, unless tackled head-on," Miguel Cardona said in testimony prepared for a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing Wednesday. "And so it is our responsibility, and it would be my greatest privilege, if confirmed, to forge opportunity out of this crisis."Cardona, 45, became Connecticut's state education chief in 2019 after spending years as a teacher and administrator in the public school district in Meriden, Connecticut, which he also attended as a child. If confirmed, he is expected to play a pivotal role in supporting schools as they recover from a crisis that has laid bare many of their shortcomings.In his testimony,...
    President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenNewsom taps Shirley Weber to serve as California secretary of state White House wishes Birx well after she announces retirement Karl Rove tears into Michael Flynn, Sidney Powell over election claims MORE introduced his nominee for Education secretary, Miguel Cardona, on Wednesday, stressing the administration's push to improve public education during and after the coronavirus pandemic.  "In this critical moment of our nation's history, it's essential that there is an educator serving as secretary of education," Biden said in Wilmington, Delaware. The president-elect called the decision to choose Cardona, who currently serves as Connecticut's education commissioner, "easy."  Cardona, the first Latino education commissioner in Connecticut, has worked as an elementary school teacher, principal, and assistant superintendent. "With that preparation and grounding, Dr. Cardona has brought his heart, knowledge, and passion for education to bear on behalf of all students across Connecticut," Biden said. Cardona will be the...
    President-elect Joe Biden's choice for education secretary, Miguel Cardona, oversaw the creation of a critical race theory class in his home state of Connecticut. Cardona, 47, the state's top education official, participated in the creation of a mandated, statewide minority-studies course that focuses on black, Puerto Rican, and Latino studies, which was highlighted in a report from the Washington Free Beacon. High schools can begin offering the course next school year, but it will be required by the fall of 2022. The class, which was designed for high school students, is intended to "analyze how race, power, and privilege influence group access to citizenship, civil rights, and economic power," and it is supposed to help students "consider the scope of African American/Black and Puerto Rican/Latino contributions to U.S. history, society, economy, and culture," according to the curriculum. Earlier this month, Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont announced the formation of the...
    President-elect Biden chose Connecticut's education commissioner and longtime public school teacher, Miguel Cardona, to serve as his education secretary on Tuesday. Cardona, 45, worked as a public educator for two decades in Connecticut, before becoming the state’s top education official in 2019.  As education commissioner, Cardona has been a vociferous advocate of sending children back to school for in-person learning amid the coronavirus pandemic, noting the low transmission rate among children and the devastating setbacks of remote learning.  If confirmed, Cardona would be able to push for reopenings nationwide, as Biden has pledged to have most schools reopened by his 100th day in office.  DEVOS PLEADS WITH EDUCATION DEPARTMENT STAFF TO 'BE THE RESISTANCE'  Under the leadership of Cardona and Gov. Ned Lamont, Connecticut was a rare blue state to express a strict preference for in-person learning amid the rise and fall of coronavirus cases in the state.  Ultimately, the decision...
    Miguel Cardona President-elect Joe Biden is nominating Connecticut Education Commissioner Miguel Cardona to be his education secretary. Cardona is a former teacher and school principal, meeting Biden’s pledge to pick an educator for the role—unlike Donald Trump’s choice of Betsy DeVos. In the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, Cardona made it a priority to get kids across the state access to laptops and the internet. More recently, he has pressed for in-person education, citing concerns about educational inequities with remote learning. That concern is in line with his longstanding focus on English language learners and racial achievement gaps. In a 2019 interview, Cardona cited his own experience as a child who arrived in kindergarten having spoken only Spanish at home. He also opposed tying teacher performance evaluations to test scores, saying “Not reducing a teacher to a test score and bringing the voices of teachers and leaders into the process of...
    President-elect Joe Biden is poised to nominate Miguel Cardona, the education chief of Connecticut, as Education Secretary, according to sources familiar with the vetting process. The pick comes after weeks of indecision and hand wringing trying to find someone with enough experience to get the country's public school system up and running during a pandemic and also someone who's managed to side-step the divisive education wars of the last decade. [ SEE: Political Cartoons on Joe Biden ]Biden has landed on Cardona, who has maintained a low-profile on the national education scene, focusing his work solely on Connecticut and his hometown of Meridien, where he grew up, attended public schools and public colleges and now lives with his wife and their two children. Cardona's nomination is also an important nod to the Hispanic voters, who supported Biden in massive numbers, but had been getting little attention in the hunt for...
    (CNN)President-elect Joe Biden promised to nominate a teacher for education secretary -- and could quickly put his choice into a political pressure cooker, as teachers' unions balk at school reopening plans and Biden seeks to reopen most schools within 100 days of taking office.Biden's goal is to have his remaining Cabinet selections announced by Christmas, a transition official told CNN -- a timeline that means he would need to choose a nominee for education secretary within days. The handful of candidates sources said were under serious consideration demonstrates the political pressures Biden is facing. Some would give his Cabinet more diversity, advancing an often-stated aim. Some would be welcomed by teachers' unions, but could face fiercer Republican opposition in the confirmation process.Two of the contenders, according to a source familiar with the matter, are union leaders and former teachers: Lily Eskelsen García, who was president of the National Education Association...
    Lily Eskelsen Garcia has emerged as the front-runner to serve as Joe BidenJoe BidenDeVos urges Education Dept. staff to 'resist' when Biden takes office LGBTQ groups celebrate Buttigieg pick for Transportation secretary Biden administration needs bipartisan solutions for older Americans, lawmakers say MORE's Education Secretary, two sources familiar with the plans told The Hill. Eskelsen Garcia served as president of the National Education Association from 2014 until the end of her term earlier this year. If confirmed, she would be the first Latina to lead the Education Department. One source described Eskelsen as the favorite for the job, which they said they expected to go to a Latina. Another source cautioned that a final decision had not been made, saying several candidates were being interviewed for the role. Biden could announce his pick for Education secretary as early as this week, one of the sources said. A transition official did not respond to a...
    By COLLIN BINKLEY, AP Education Writer The former president of the nation’s largest teachers union has received endorsements from the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and dozens of national Hispanic organizations as she pursues the top job at the U.S. Education Department in the Biden administration. Lily Eskelsen García, who was president of the National Education Association until September, has been calling members of Congress to build support for her candidacy. She has been courting Democrats and some Republicans, including Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander, who is chairman of the Senate education committee and a former education secretary. Her supporters have ramped up lobbying efforts on her behalf, urging President-elect Joe Biden to nominate her and, in doing so, appoint the first Latina to lead the Education Department. Eskelsen García did not immediately respond to a request for comment. In a letter to Biden on Monday, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus offered its “enthusiastic...
    The former president of the nation’s largest teachers union has received endorsements from the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and dozens of national Hispanic organizations as she pursues the top job at the U.S. Education Department in the Biden administration. Lily Eskelsen García, who was president of the National Education Association until September, has been calling members of Congress to build support for her candidacy. She has been courting Democrats and some Republicans, including Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander, who is chairman of the Senate education committee and a former education secretary. Her supporters have ramped up lobbying efforts on her behalf, urging President-elect Joe Biden to nominate her and, in doing so, appoint the first Latina to lead the Education Department. Eskelsen García did not immediately respond to a request for comment. In a letter to Biden on Monday, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus offered its “enthusiastic endorsement" for Eskelsen García, saying her...
    U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced this week an extension for the delay on payments for student loans and interest accrual until January 31, 2021 — one month longer than the December 31 extension in President Donald Trump’s August 8 memorandum on emergency federals student loan relief. “Federal student loan borrowers will not be expected to make payments through January of next year, though they will continue to be able to do so and benefit from the zero percent interest rate as they pay down principal,” the announcement said. “Non-payments will continue to count toward the number of payments required under an income-driven repayment plan, a loan rehabilitation agreement, or the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program.” “The coronavirus pandemic has presented challenges for many students and borrowers, and this temporary pause in payments will help those who have been impacted,” DeVos said in the announcement. “The added time also...
    This story was produced by The Hechinger Report, a nonprofit, independent news organization focused on inequality and innovation in education.  America seems more ready than ever for long-overdue conversations about race, gender and opportunity. One setting where those conversations matter a lot is in our schools — the places that explicitly define opportunity in our children’s formative years. When we select people to lead our education systems, we send a loud signal to our children about what is possible for them. That’s why we need to talk about who holds the role of the nation’s top education post, secretary of education. As President-elect Joe Biden mulls Cabinet appointments, I suggest it is high time a woman of color led the U.S. Department of Education. So far, no woman of color has sat in that seat. Since the role was established in 1979, there have been 11 secretaries. White men have...
    By CASEY SMITH, Associated Press/Report for America INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb has tapped his senior education advisor to serve as the state's first secretary of education, marking the first time in more than a century the state schools superintendent position isn’t decided by voters. Katie Jenner will officially take on the role Jan. 11 after current Superintendent of Public Instruction Jennifer McCormick leaves office. Jenner will immediately focus on helping schools navigate the coronavirus pandemic, in addition to shaping state policy on education funding, school accountability and testing, according to the governor’s office. “This is an incredibly important time for education in Indiana," Holcomb said in a statement Thursday. "(Jenner) has focused her entire career on investing in students, teachers and staff, and she will continue to build the relationships needed to move our state forward in constructive ways." Under new state law, the state schools chief...
    Joe Biden is reportedly considering leaders of the nation’s largest teachers’ unions to replace current Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, should the former vice president be declared the winner of the 2020 presidential election. According to a report at the New York Times Friday, the short list of contenders for the education cabinet post includes Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), and Lily Eskelsen Garcia, recent past president of the National Education Association (NEA). The NEA represents 2.29 million members, while the AFT represents 1.7 million. Additionally, the Times report names U.S. House Rep. Jahana Hayes (D-CT), a former National Teacher of the Year, and several superintendents of large city school districts, such as Baltimore and Seattle, as possible candidates for the position. Though Weingarten said that she was honored to be included on the list of possible nominees, she added she would also be “really happy...
    PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The superintendent of the Philadelphia School District could be in the running for a sport in President-elect Joe Biden’s cabinet. Dr. William Hite responded Thursday to his name being floated as a possible candidate for secretary of education. “The president-elect is talking about having an educator or someone with educational experience in that role and I think that, in and of itself, is a mark difference with the current administration. A lot of individuals talk about potential candidates for that role. I’m happy to be named as one of those individuals but I haven’t had a lot of time to focus on that and no, no one has reached out to me,” Hite said. Education reform groups are said to be pushing the Biden team to appoint an urban district head to the post. MORE FROM CBS PHILLY: Delco Officials Urge Residents To Follow Public Health Guidance...
    HARRISBURG (KDKA) – The former Pennsylvania education secretary has been tapped for an agency review team that will help President-elect Joe Biden’s transition. On Wednesday Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf commended President-elect Joe Biden for selecting Pedro Rivera as one of almost two dozen people to serve on the agency review team for the U.S. Department of Education. “Pedro Rivera was an excellent secretary of education for Pennsylvania and he is a tremendous choice by President-elect Biden to help prepare the education efforts of the next administration,” said Gov. Wolf in a statement. “Pedro’s leadership was critical to rebuilding strong relationships to local school communities and improving the quality of education in our state.” According to the Biden-Harris transition website, agency review teams have to understand the operations of each agency to ensure a smooth transfer of power. Rivera left the Wolf administration after the board of Thaddeus...
    GARLAND, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos made a stop in North Texas Thursday for a roundtable discussion at International Leadership of Texas’ high school in Garland. She spoke to students, parents and educators about the challenges they’re currently facing during the coronavirus pandemic and how they’re addressing them. Roundtable discussion in Garland with U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos (Erin Jones – CBS 11). The purpose of Secretary DeVos’ trip was to see how this public charter school is handling the pandemic. Only about 15% of the high school’s 650-plus students are currently attending in person. The rest are still participating in at-home learning, so there’s been a big priority put on improving technology. During the roundtable, Secretary DeVos pointed out because of the pandemic, parents are more aware of what’s going on with their child’s education. She says across the country, many are opting to...
    Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is reportedly under investigation for possibly violating the Hatch Act during an interview with Fox News, Politico reported Monday. The Office of Special Counsel (OSC) reportedly started the investigation after DeVos criticized former Vice President Joe Biden during the interview, according to Politico. An OSC Hatch act attorney told the executive director of the watchdog group Checks and Balances Project, Scott Peterson, that the agency was investigating “matters in your complaint,” Politico reported. The video was posted on the Department of Education’s YouTube page and on an email list with the heading “From The Desk of The Secretary,” according to the video and email Politico shared. DeVos’s criticism of Biden came in response to a question about his commitment to undo her school choice policies. (RELATED: ‘A Crisis In The Making’: Betsy DeVos Says Without Federal Aid, Many Private Schools Are Close To Closing) “Today he’s...
    The Office of the Special Counsel has started investigating Education Secretary Betsy DeVos for potentially violating the Hatch Act for her comments during an interview with FOX News' Martha MacCallum, according to Politico. During the interview on "The Story", Devos had been asked about Biden's promise to roll back her school choice policies. "Today he’s turned his back on the kids that we’re talking about and he’s turned his face in favor of the teachers union and what they have to say and what they have to demand and it’s really shameful,” Devos said. The interview was then promoted through the official channels of the Department of Education, according to an email shared by the outlet. EDUCATION SECRETARY DEVOS WARNS ABOUT WAVE OF PRIVATE SCHOOL CLOSINGS: 'THAT'S A CRISIS IN THE MAKING' The complaint, shared by Politico, alleges that Devos' comment "attacked Democratic Presidential Candidate Vice President Joe Biden and his education proposals in...
    U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres announced a policy brief Tuesday called “Save our Future.” The United Nations’ chief says the world must take steps now to combat a learning crisis amid school closures. “Now we face a generational catastrophe that could waste untold human potential, undermine decades of progress, and exacerbate entrenched inequalities,” U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres said. U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres announced a policy brief Tuesday called “Save our Future.” It calls for action in four areas: reopening schools, prioritizing education in financial decisions, targeting hard to reach students and reimagining education.  Guterres said that in mid-July schools were closed in some 160 countries impacting more than one billion students.  “We are at a defining moment for the world’s children and young people. The decisions that governments and partners take now will have lasting impact on hundreds of millions of young people, and on the development prospects of countries for decades to...
    On the same week the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) circulated a document warning that fully reopening schools and universities continues to pose the “highest risk” for spreading the coronavirus, Donald Trump demanded that schools reopen. The 69-page document from the CDC, dated July 8 and obtained by The New York Times, was meant for public health teams in hot spots across the country. Though the Times did not verify that Trump had seen the document as it was circulated, both Trump and Vice President Mike Pence explicitly and publicly pushed the CDC to weaken its guidelines and are continuing to do advocate for full school reopenings. “We don’t want the guidance from CDC to be a reason why schools don’t open,” Pence said last week, as he promised the CDC would be putting forward new guidelines this week. The CDC declined to change its guidance a day after Pence’s declaration, though additional guidance may still be forthcoming....
    President Donald Trump railed against colleges he accused of left-wing 'indoctrination' Friday and threatened to take back federal support and major tax breaks at a time institutions are trying to sort out whether they can host students this fall.  Trump threatened to order his Treasury secretary to look at trying to remove the non-profit exemption that colleges and universities use to maintain their bottom line – although he didn't specify how he carry out a change or decide who longer deserved to keep it.   'Too many Universities and School Systems are about Radical Left Indoctrination, not Education,' Trump tweeted in the air en route to Florida for a series of events. 'Therefore, I am telling the Treasury Department to re-examine their Tax-Exempt Status ...  and/or Funding, which will be taken away if this Propaganda or Act Against Public Policy continues,' Trump wrote. President Donald Trump speaks during a briefing on...
    California, Michigan and three other states – plus the District of Columbia – are suing Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and her department, opposing what they say is a plan to take coronavirus relief funds away from K-12 public schools and divert the money to private schools. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced the lawsuit Tuesday. The three other states joining the suit are Maine, New Mexico and Wisconsin. “Today's announcement is about stopping the Trump administration's latest effort to steal from working families to give it to the very privileged," Becerra said, according to The Associated Press. DEVOS CALLS OUT 'ADULTS WHO ARE FEARMONGERING' OVER SCHOOL REOPENINGS: 'KIDS HAVE GOT TO CONTINUE LEARNING' “Unfortunately, this most recent action by Secretary DeVos is really just another example in a long history of an administration that uses any and every opportunity available to tip the scales...
    Education Secretary Betsy DeVos sounded off on Democrats in an interview published this week, calling presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden a “total hypocrite” for wanting the presumption of innocence for himself but not male college students accused of sexual assault on campus. DeVos spoke to my former Washington Examiner colleague Eddie Scarry and explained how the anti-gender discrimination law known as Title IX and due process was not something she thought would become the legacy-defining issue of her tenure. “By the time I was confirmed, that was certainly high on the list,” DeVos told Scarry. “But very honestly, when I was first approached for the job, I certainly was not aware of all of the issues facing higher education” on that particular subject. DeVos was referring to the Obama administration’s infamous 2011 “Dear Colleague” letter that introduced substantive, drastic changes to the way schools adjudicate sexual assault and sexual...
    (CNN)Here is a look at women in government, education, business and sports who have broken through the glass ceiling and become the first in their respective positions in the United States.GovernmentREAD MORE: All the countries that have had a woman leader.1872 - Victoria Claflin Woodhull becomes the first woman presidential candidate in the United States when she is nominated for the Equal Rights Party.April 4, 1887 - Susanna Madora Salter is the first woman elected mayor of a US town, Argonia, Kansas.Read More1916 - Jeannette Rankin of Montana is the first woman elected to Congress. She serves just one term and then is elected again in 1940 for one term. During this time, she votes against participation in both World War I and World War II.November 21, 1922 - Rebecca Felton is the first woman to serve in the US Senate. She is appointed by Georgia's governor who wanted to...
    CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - The West Virginia Board of Education voted unanimously Wednesday to give interim state schools superintendent Clayton Burch the job on a permanent basis. Burch was among three finalists interviewed last week. The others were Department of Education Associate Superintendent Kathy D’Antoni and Jackson County Schools Superintendent Blaine Hess. Superintendent Steve Paine stepped down in February to take care of a family member with a serious medical issue. TOP STORIES Coronavirus hype biggest political hoax in history Trump orders U.S. to develop polar ice-breaking fleet for Arctic, Antarctic George Floyds brother delivers emotional plea to Congress: Make sure his death isnt in vain Burch previously served as an associate superintendent, an interim commerce secretary and acting secretary for the Department of Education and the Arts.
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