Press "Enter" to skip to content

Rebuilding America’s schools: The new secretary of education will need to prioritize both access and breadth of skills

Elias Blinkoff and Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, Temple University via Brookings Institute |

Cardona’s nomination reflects a vital federal investment in educational equity. Drawing on his own experiences growing up in a Meriden, Connecticut housing project with parents from Puerto Rico and as an English language learner, Cardona aims to narrow the opportunity gap through a comprehensive approach that supports schools and communities. His top priorities “inside the schoolhouse” include ensuring that all students read by third grade and providing all students with access to a high-quality curriculum. Beyond the school walls, Cardona is eager to collaborate with other federal agencies to assist students struggling with housing and food insecurity. He offers a strengths-based approach, recognizing resources that students bring from their communities.

Yet, Cardona’s most pressing concern at the Department of Education will be the rebuilding of America’s schools in the wake of COVID-19…. Cardona recognizes the need to improve access to resources for students and educators. However, access alone is only part of the solution. Access must also be coupled with evidence-based implementation, or pedagogy, to produce high-quality outcomes.

Elias Blinkoff is a Graduate Student, Department of Psychology, Temple University and Kathy Hirsh-Pasek is a Senior Fellow – Global Economy and Development, Center for Universal Education Stanley and Debra Lefkowitz Faculty Fellow, Department of Psychology, Temple University.

Skip to content