U.S Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona recently laid out his vision for how the nation can support teachers across the country and elevate the teaching profession. During an address and fireside chat at the Bank Street College of New York, Secretary Cardona discussed how the Department, states and districts, and higher education institutions can recruit, prepare, and retain great teachers and, in turn, improve our education system across the country. He also highlighted the work the Department has done to support teachers since the beginning of the Biden-Harris Administration and shared his own experience and perspective as a former teacher, principal, and school administrator.
Secretary Cardona’s vision focuses on three areas:
- Recruiting diverse, high-qualified teachers into the profession and investing in high-quality teacher pipeline programs
- Supporting educators’ professional development to ensure our nation’s students are receiving high-quality education to meet the demands of today’s economy
- Investing in strategies to retain high-quality educators and keep them in the profession long-term.
The fact that in many states teachers do not earn a livable and competitive wage is a significant contributor to a weak pipeline and high attrition. In many states, teachers earn less than other professionals with similar qualifications. President Biden and Secretary Cardona have called on states and districts to increase teacher salaries to help address teacher recruitment and retention.
In addition, Secretary Cardona laid out the following strategies that will continue to guide the Department of Education’s work to recruit, develop, and retain high-qualified teachers in the coming months and years:
- Investing in a strong and diverse teacher pipeline, including 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 special education and bilingual education or advanced certifications to better meet the needs of their students
- Helping teachers pay off their student loans, including through loan forgiveness and service scholarship programs
- Supporting teachers by providing them and students with the resources they need to succeed, including mentoring for early career teachers, high-quality curricular materials, and providing students with access to guidance counselors, social workers, nurses, mental health professionals, and other specialists
- Creating opportunities for teacher advancement and leadership, including participating in distributive leadership models, and serving as instructional coaches and mentors.
For a video of Secretary Cardona’s remarks, see https://youtu.be/45R0HG0PDM4