Our education system needs real change and improvement, according to the Nation’s Report Card and Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona.

The Nation’s Report Card, which is a periodic survey drawing on teachers and students in all grades and all states by the National Assessment of Educational Progress, is considered a good metric of how our education system is doing in key areas, like literacy, math, access, and support. Recent results showed rather dramatic declines in reading and math scores across the country when compared to 2019 and before. This matched with the fears of teachers and educational authorities.

“The pandemic had a significant impact on our student’s ability to develop in reading and math. What it did was affirm the fact that we need to double down. We need to improve our education system,” said Secretary Cardona.

In 2021, the American Rescue Plan included over 120 billion for education, but much of that funding hasn’t shown results.

Cardona believes the solution lies in “focusing on efforts,” not test scores, and in bringing high-quality teachers to the schools that need them most, not just the schools that historically would be able to attract them.

Cardona also spoke about parents involving themselves, and wants to encourage parents to remain proactive, pivoting their attention from trying to micromanage the content being taught to making sure that schools are putting the federal money they have been given to the uses that will benefit the most students in the best way.

“Providing acceleration, making sure that every student has an opportunity to get high-quality instruction, tutoring, where possible after-school programming, and just making sure that we’re providing them with the individualized attention that they need,” Cardona said. The federal Department of Education has provided a checklist for parents to measure their local schools against, so they can know what is or isn’t being done to bring our education system up to standard.

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