During a speech on January 25th with the theme “Raise the Bar,” U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona, urged educators to set higher expectations for students in reading and math achievement. His speech at the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) also called on them to provide greater opportunities for students to learn multiple languages, expand career pathways, focus on student well-being, and to continue the “transformative change” that started with the use of federal COVID-19 emergency funds.

Sec. Cardona also stated the need for competitive pay for teachers and authentic engagement with parents.

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Meanwhile, Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) has taken over as chair of the House Education and the Workforce Committee. She previously chaired the committee from 2017 to 2019. Foxx said in a statement that she will conduct vigorous and sustained oversight of the federal government, especially the Departments of Education and Labor, which will be among her top priorities. Foxx also called for stopping the Biden administration’s regulatory agenda, which she described as “reckless and destructive.”

As indicators of Foxx’s positions on some issues, in a September hearing, she said that while she has concerns about social-emotional instruction, schools should play a role in addressing student mental health struggles.

In a June statement after release of the proposed regulations from the White House, Foxx said, “Today’s proposed Title IX regulations are nothing more than a conduit for the Left’s woke agenda that will demolish due process rights and the safety of young women and girls across the country, with promised regulations still to come to undermine women’s access to athletic opportunities.”

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