US Education Secretary Miguel Cardona reviews school re-opening progress and looks at the leadership needed to advance this priority in the months ahead.
In an opinion item published on the CNN website, among other places, US Education Secretary Dr. Miguel Cardona discusses the Administration’s priorities and progress with re-opening public schools for in-person learning. Among his points, he raises equity in access, and the need for student-based outreach to help overcome reluctance to rejoin in-person settings – seeing a role for community leaders in this important effort.
In speaking with educators, parents, and students, we know there are many reasons why some families are hesitant to return to in-person learning. Fears around transmission of the virus, especially in multi-generational households, have driven some of the conversation. But we must be honest with ourselves and with each other in listening to families who have said that schools weren’t working for their children in the first place, or that they don’t trust that the school system is safe for them due to the virus, violence or harassment, or any number of other reasons.It is up to us as leaders — at the national, state, district, and local level – to listen, to find out what is driving these decisions, to build trust among our communities, and to make clear reopening efforts must put the needs and experiences of students impacted by the pandemic first. There has been no greater time to show student-centered leadership, and no greater time to show up for students.