White House and Department of Education urge significant measures to enhance student achievement

Dive Brief:

  • The White House and U.S. Department of Education are urging schools to implement three strategies to enhance student academic performance: Increase student participation, provide intensive tutoring, and expand extended and summer learning opportunities.

  • In a press release on Wednesday, the Biden administration also stated it would publish examples of initiatives from states, districts, and educational organizations that demonstrate progress made in implementing these strategies. Additionally, states should focus on supporting and allocating resources to school districts that have not shown improvement in reducing achievement gaps.

  • Since the pandemic, student progress has been stagnant or below expectations for students from marginalized communities and those in the lower grades. While the remaining funds from the American Rescue Plan can assist in educational interventions, educators, families, and policymakers acknowledge the challenge of sustaining these investments once the federal COVID-19 emergency funds are depleted.

Dive Insight:

In a live broadcasted event on Wednesday, alongside governors, state education superintendents, and the White House domestic policy advisor, U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona described this as “a crucial moment for education in our country,” presenting both “significant challenges” and “vast opportunities.”

To achieve or exceed pre-pandemic levels of achievement, the announcement from the White House and Education Department emphasizes the need for states, districts, and communities to take additional bold actions. Specifically, the announcement calls for increased state accountability in implementing evidence-based practices to accelerate students’ learning and to monitor progress in closing pandemic-related achievement gaps.

The Education Department will also hold states responsible for allocating Title I funds to support schools designated for improvement, as mandated by the Every Student Succeeds Act. The department has published a

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