ED Review (06/10/22)

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June 10, 2022


Bidens in Uvalde 

On June 2, in a prime-time address to the nation from the White House, President Biden spoke about the recent mass shootings across the country and the urgent need for Congress to pass common sense laws to combat the epidemic of gun violence that is taking lives every day (remarks and video). 

“On Memorial Day this past Monday, Jill and I visited Arlington National Cemetery,” he opened.  “As we entered those hallowed grounds, we saw rows and rows of crosses among the rows of headstones, with other emblems of belief, honoring those who paid the ultimate price on battlefields around the world.  The day before, we visited Uvalde, Texas.  In front of Robb Elementary School, we stood before 21 crosses for 19 third- and fourth-graders and two teachers.  On each cross, a name.  And nearby, a photo of each victim that Jill and I reached out to touch.  Innocent victims, murdered in a classroom that had been turned into a killing field.  Standing there in that small town, like so many other communities across America, I couldn’t help but think there are too many other schools -- too many other everyday places that have become killing fields, battlefields here in America.  We stood at such a place just 12 days before, across from a grocery store in Buffalo, New York, memorializing 10 fellow Americans…gone forever.  At both places, we spent hours with hundreds of family members who were broken and whose lives will never be the same.  And, they had one message for all of us: Do something.  Just do something.  For God’s sake, do something.  After Columbine, after Sandy Hook, after Charleston, after Orlando, after Las Vegas, after Parkland, nothing has been done.  This time, that can’t be true.  This time, we must actually do something.” 

As the President noted, he and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden traveled to Uvalde on May 29, where they visited the school memorial, attended mass, and met with families of the victims and survivors (tweet). 

Secretary Cardona traveled to Uvalde on May 31, visiting the school memorial, attending mass, and meeting with the school superintendent (tweet).  He also attended the funeral for Irma and Joe Garcia -- a teacher killed in the shooting, and her spouse who succumbed to a heart attack a few days later -- on June 1.  “Today, I am just here as a father [and] as an educator to express my deepest sympathy with the Uvalde community, with the families of those who perished, both the children and educators,” he said.  “This shouldn’t happen.  I’m here grieving with them and will continue to keep them in our prayers and be here to support them as much as they need for as long as they need.” 

And, on June 7, testifying on the President’s Fiscal Year 2023 budget request before the Senate Labor-Health and Human Services-Education Appropriations Subcommittee, the Secretary read the names of the children and teachers murdered in Uvalde.  “For the last two years, with greater risks to their own lives, our students and teachers rose to the moment and safely returned to school….  Now we must do the same.  Rise to the moment, despite whatever fears may exist, to support our students and teachers” (remarks and video). 

In the wake of the horrific attacks in Buffalo and Uvalde, the Biden Administration issued a fact sheet summarizing federal supports. 


Corinthian Colleges discharge 

Last week, the Department announced it will discharge all remaining federal student loans borrowed to attend any campus owned or operated by Corinthian Colleges, Inc., from its founding in 1995 through its closure in April 2015.  This will result in 560,000 borrowers receiving $5.8 billion in full loan discharges.  This includes borrowers who have not yet applied for a Borrower Defense discharge, who will have their Corinthian loans discharged without any additional action on their part.  The action is the largest single loan discharge the agency has made in history.  The action brings the total relief the Biden Administration has approved for borrowers since January 2021 to $25 billion (press release and Twitter thread). 

The announcement builds upon conclusions first reached by the Department in 2015 that Corinthian engaged in pervasive and widespread misrepresentations related to a borrower’s employment prospects, including guarantees they would find a job.  Corinthian also made pervasive misstatements to students about the ability to transfer credits and falsified their public job placement rates.  Corinthian acquired several troubled private, for-profit colleges across the country and, at its peak in 2010, enrolled more than 110,000 students at 105 campuses. 

Then-California State Attorney General Kamala Harris’ investigation into Corinthian played a key role in developing findings against the college chain and the Department’ overall work to discharge the loans of borrowers harmed by its wrongdoing.  After the Attorney General’s lawsuit, Corinthian declared bankruptcy.  As such, Vice President Harris joined Secretary Cardona, Under Secretary of Education James Kvaal, and Federal Student Aid (FSA) Chief Operating Officer Richard Cordray at the agency for the official announcement (remarks and video). 


Cardona in NYC

This week, in an address and fireside chat in New York City, Secretary Cardona laid out his vision for how the nation can support teachers and elevate the teaching profession.  He discussed how the Department, states, school districts, and postsecondary institutions can recruit, prepare, and retain great teachers in the profession and, in turn, improve the nation’s education system.  He also emphasized the work his agency has done to support teachers since the beginning of the Biden Administration and outlined his experience and perspective as a former teacher, principal, and school administrator (video).


Corresponding with the remarks, the Department released a fact sheet on how American Rescue Plan (ARP) investments in the country’s educators may be sustained for the long-term using other existing sources of federal funds.


Specifically, the Secretary detailed the following strategies that will continue to guide the Department’s work in the coming months and years (see also Twitter thread):

  • investing in a strong and diverse teacher pipeline, including by increasing access to affordable, comprehensive, evidence-based preparation programs, such as teacher residencies, Grow Your Own programs (including those that begin in high school), and apprenticeship programs;
  • supporting teachers in earning initial or additional certification in high-demand areas, such as bilingual education and special education, or advanced certifications to better meet the needs of their students;
  • helping teachers pay off their student loans through loan forgiveness and service scholarship programs;
  • supporting teachers by providing the resources they need to succeed, including mentoring for early career teachers, high-quality curricular materials, and providing students access to counselors, social workers, nurses, mental health professionals, and other specialists; and
  • creating opportunities for teacher advancement and leadership, including participating in distributive leadership models and serving as instructional coaches and mentors.


On June 3, Senior Advisor to the Secretary Amy Loyd (Zuni Pueblo) and Executive Director of the White House Initiative on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity for Native Americans Hollie Mackey (Northern Cheyenne) traveled to Idaho to visit Coeur d’Alene Tribal School.  After touring the school, they participated in a roundtable discussion with students and educators focused on preserving Native languages, culture revitalization, and the importance of social and emotional learning supports.  They also participated in nation-to-nation discussions with Tribal leadership about ways to ensure school communities can effectively recover from the pandemic (tweet). 

A day later, Secretary Cardona traveled to Montana to deliver the commencement address at Salish Kootenai College.  The Secretary also participated in a conversation with students focused on the institution’s Tribal Historic Preservation program and preserving Native languages.  Additionally, he met with Tribal leadership (tweet). 

While these leaders were out West, the Department announced approximately $1 million in grant funding available for Native American Language (NAL@ED) projects (blog post). 

Also on June 3, Deputy Secretary of Education Cindy Marten visited Renaissance High School for the Arts in Long Beach, California, for a roundtable discussion with students about Pride Month (news article). 

Moreover, Under Secretary Kvaal joined the Bipartisan Policy Center for a conversation on next steps for the student loan system. 


Earlier this month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released updated guidance for K-12 schools and early care and education programs.  This update brings the guidance in-line with recommendations in the CDC’s COVID-19 Community Levels and provides a pathway for schools and programs to prepare for summer learning and the upcoming school year.  The updated guidance includes recommendations for prevention strategies for everyday operations, as well as prevention strategies to add based on the COVID-19 Community Level (at low, medium, or high) or when experiencing an outbreak in schools or programs (webinar recording).  (Note: Secretary Cardona issued a statement on the release of CDC’s updated guidance.) 

The Department’s National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) released the latest round of findings from the School Pulse Panel, examining the mental health needs of, and services provided to, students and staff, and the 2021 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) Monthly School Survey, providing insight into the learning opportunities for students during the pandemic. 

Furthermore, NCES released the “Condition of Education 2022,” with indicators on the state of education, from pre-kindergarten through postsecondary education, as well as labor force outcomes and international comparisons (web site and blog post).  This year’s edition includes two Spotlight indicators.  They use experimental data to examine possible educational impacts of the pandemic, including home-schooling and postsecondary plans.  (Note: The Secretary issued a statement on the release of the report.) 


  • A new White House fact sheet highlights the Biden Administration’s strategy to address the national mental health crisis.
  • Looking for some words of inspiration?  Check out President Biden’s commencement addresses at the S. Naval Academy and the University of Delaware and Dr. Biden’s commencement address at Los Angeles City College.
  • Secretary Cardona issued a statement on the Senate confirmation of Amy Loyd as the Department’s Assistant Secretary for Career, Technical, and Adult Education.
  • And, in a Homeroom blog post, Under Secretary Kvaal shared the appointment of Jordan Matsudaira as the agency’s first-ever Chief Economist.
  • On June 1, the Department held a virtual event focused on growing pathways to success.  It featured remarks by Secretary Cardona, Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, and Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh, as well as students, parents, educators, and employers, sharing their perspectives on the value and need for career and college pathways (video and blog post).
  • On June 3, the Department published a commissioned study and resources on the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) requirements that states and schools protect students from the consequences of “aiding and abetting” school employees in obtaining a new job if they are known or believed with probable cause to have engaged in sexual misconduct with a student/minor (fact sheet and blog post).
  • Plus, a Notice of Final Requirements (NFR) establishes rules for publishing school district-level data to demonstrate maintenance of both fiscal and staffing equity in fiscal years 2022 and 2023.
  • On June 7, the Department provided an update on education system improvements in Puerto Rico.
  • Secretary Cardona shouted out the I-N-C-R-E-D-I-B-L-E Scripps National Spelling Bee champion, Harini Logan.
  • The Department’s Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) posted the latest “OSEP Fast Facts” underscoring the environments in which children with disabilities receive related services.
  • In his latest blog, Institute of Education Sciences (IES) Director Mark Schneider writes about using prize competitions to revamp IES’ research and development infrastructure.
  • The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is cracking down on companies that illegally surveil children learning online. 


“According to new data just released by the [CDC], guns are the number one killer of children in the U.S. More than car accidents.  More than cancer.  Over the last two decades, more school-aged children have died from guns than on-duty police officers and active-duty military -- combined….  For God’s sake, how much more carnage are we willing to accept?  How many more innocent American lives must be taken before we say ‘enough’?” 

-- President Joseph Biden (6/2/22), from his remarks on gun violence in America 


Among other observations, June is designated as LGBTQI+ Pride Month.  (Note: The Department raised the Pride Unity flag over its headquarters building in Washington, D.C., for the first time in history.) 

Please register to join the Department, the National Education Association (NEA), and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) on June 23, from 2 to 3 p.m. Eastern Time, for the third webinar in the ongoing Community Schools Learning Series, titled “Launching a Community School: Using Deep Engagement and Visioning to Understand Root Causes and Identify Shared Priorities.” 

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