Student Voice issues the following statement from Communications Director Jenna Yuan to congratulate Dr. Miguel Cardona, President-elect Biden’s recently announced appointment for the next U.S. Secretary of Education, and calls on Miguel Cardona to host a roundtable conversation with students before they enter office:
“On behalf of students across the country, Student Voice congratulates President-elect Biden’s announced appointment for Secretary of Education, Dr. Miguel Cardona.
“As a former educator, principal and current commissioner, we are hopeful that Dr. Cardona will be prepared to tackle the unprecedented challenges facing America’s schools on day one. We appreciate that Dr. Cardona regularly hosted listening sessions for student stakeholders throughout his career and Connecticut and has shown previous support for students as a vital part in the decision making process. Student Voice affirms Dr. Cardona’s understanding of youth voice as a tool for real time civic action: ‘When we talk about preparing students for the jobs of the future, it’s critical thinking, it’s self-advocacy. Well, let’s do that now.’
“Student Voice looks forward to partnering with Dr. Cardona to achieve authentic youth-adult co-creation at the highest institutional level. The stakes are high over the next four years, and we know that to achieve equity and justice in our schools, power must be meaningfully shifted towards students most marginalized by the education system.
“Students hope that Dr. Cardona will not only repair the damage done by outgoing Secretary DeVos’ four years in office, but also use the Department of Education as a critical tool to advance educational equity in the United States’ K-12 public education system. We are ready for Education Secretary Cardona to get to work on tackling the issues that matter to us: protecting our public schools, revitalizing the Education Department’s Office of Civil Rights, strengthening Title IX protections for student survivors of sexual violence, issuing guidance to allow transgender students to use the bathroom of their gender identity and more.
“Before Dr. Cardona is confirmed, students are calling on him to speak with us directly about the issues we face within our educations today, including through hosting a roundtable conversation with a diverse and representative group of K-12 and college students from across the country. We are prepared to hold him accountable to enacting our Roadmap to Authentically Engage Youth Voice in the U.S. Department of Education that has been supported by 100+ organizations. We believe that student voice can provide valuable expertise to Education Secretary Cardona’s new Department of Education, and look forward to ensuring students have a meaningful role in the new administration in research, policy, grantmaking and more.”
Our Call to #StartWithStudents:
The 2020 elections may be over, but our work is just getting started. Student Voice is organizing at the federal, state and local levels to ensure all decision makers start with students when making decisions about our educations. Across the country, students are building transformative power to hold leaders accountable to advancing education justice. Working at all levels of government, students are ready to make the Student Bill of Rights and Move School Forward Principles a reality in every school.
About Student Voice
Student Voice is a by-students, for-students 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that works in all 50 states to equip students as storytellers, organizers and institutional partners who advocate for student-driven solutions to educational inequity. Through direct civic action, Student Voice helps students hold their schools and surrounding communities accountable to the Student Bill of Rights and prepares them to become lifelong agents of social and political change. For more information about Student Voice, visit our website at StuVoice.org and follow @Stu_Voice and #StuVoice on social media.