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Secretary of Education Cardona: Engage Youth Voices

Student Voice congrats Education Secretary Cardona on his confirmation and calls on his Department of Education to engage students in their work.

Press Release
March 2, 2021

Student Voice congratulates our new U.S. Secretary of Education, Dr. Miguel Cardona, on his confirmation. As K-12 and college students, we are ready to work in partnership with Secretary Cardona to tackle the unprecedented challenges facing America’s schools. 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. 

In the immediate future, Student Voice calls on Education Secretary Cardona and the Department of Education to host roundtable conversations with students across the country about the challenges facing learning at this moment. Especially as the Department of Education tackles reopening schools, COVID-19 vaccine distribution, standardized testing and many more pressing issues, Secretary Cardona and his office must consult us immediately. Students have unparalleled expertise about our school experiences, and we must be an integral part of solutions to our schools’ biggest challenges.

About her hopes for Secretary Cardona’s time in office, Maya Green, a college first-year at Stanford University from Charleston, South Carolina and the Organizing Director at Student Voice said, “We know that ‘normal’ was not working for many students and teachers long before the harm of the last four years and the crises that have emerged in the last 12 months. I’m encouraged by Secretary Cardona’s experience in the classroom and focus on equity, and know that with young people as authentic partners, he can really harness the Department’s potential to achieve justice in our schools.”

About Student Voice’s #StartWithStudents campaign for meaningful youth engagement at the U.S. Department of Education, Claire Gelillo, a high school senior at Richard Montgomery High School in Rockville, Maryland and a team member at Student Voice said, “We are calling on Secretary Cardona to make student voice a fundamental piece of the US Department of Education. Students have been on the receiving end of the drastic shifts in education over the past year, and our perspectives are incredibly valuable in determining how we move forward to make school better.”

Student Voice will hold Secretary Cardona 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.

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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.

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