Transforming the Education Sector into a Learning System: Perspectives from the Field and Recommendations for Action

In 2019, we made the case for why our education agenda must prioritize adopting a learning systems approach in education at all levels, and we articulated a framework for what such a system should look like and include.
More recently and in collaboration with Carnegie Corporation of New York, we attempted to answer the question of how we begin to make and accelerate these shifts, drawing on the insights and experiences of those leaders in the field doing the hard work to create a learning systems approach in their own contexts. The research for this paper reinforced an important lesson for anyone seeking to advance a learning system approach: we must be learners ourselves, adjusting our strategies in response to new information. This includes understanding how our theories are playing out in reality, including the ongoing impacts of the pandemic and the economic crisis as well as ongoing challenges to racial justice in our schools and communities.

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E-Update for the Week of April 12, 2021

Highlights:

On April 15 at 10:00 am, the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee will hold a hearing on the nomination of James Kvaal to serve as Undersecretary of Education of the U.S. Department of Education (USED).
On April 9, President Biden released his initial budget proposal to Congress for FY2022. For USED, the President’s budget requests $102.8 billion in annual (also known as discretionary) funding for an increase of $29.8 billion or 41 percent over the FY2021 level.
On April 9, USED released Volume 2 of its COVID-19 Handbook, titled “Roadmap to Reopening Safely and Meeting All Students’ Needs.” This guidance focuses on initial strategies for providing equitable educational opportunities that address the impact of COVID-19 on students, educators, and staff, with a focus on underserved students.

Biden Administration:
Nominations and Personnel: 
HELP Committee to begin consideration of Kvaal as USED Undersecretary this Thursday: On April 15 at 10:00 am, the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee will hold a hearing on the nomination of James Kvaal to serve as Undersecretary of Education of the U.S. Department of Education […]

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E-Update for the Week of April 5, 2021

Highlights:

On April 1, USED Secretary Miguel Cardona joined a roundtable discussion with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and students to discuss the impact of student loan debt.
On March 31, President Joe Biden released details of his American Jobs Plan, which would invest an estimated $2 trillion this decade in traditional infrastructure, such as school and child care facilities, roads, bridges, and research and development.
On March 26, USED issued determination letters to the states of Colorado, Georgia, and South Carolina, amongst others, related to the states’ waiver requests for administering statewide summative assessments for the 2020-2021 school year.

Biden Administration:
Biden releases $2 trillion American Jobs Plan, will include funding for schools, child care facilities, community colleges, and HBCUs:  President Joe Biden released details of his American Jobs Plan, which would invest an estimated $2 trillion this decade in traditional infrastructure, such as school and child care facilities, roads, bridges, and research and development. Additionally, the president released a Made in America Tax Plan, which is focused on corporate tax changes and if passed alongside the […]

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E-Update for the Week of March 29, 2021

Highlights:

On March 24, USED announced the release of $81 billion of funding from the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief funds appropriated by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARP ESSER. The Department will release the remainder of the ARP ESSER funds (approximately $40.6 billion) after states submit their implementation plans for using ARP ESSER funds to safely reopen schools and meet the needs of students.
On March 24, the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee held a hearing to consider the nomination of Cindy Marten to serve as U.S. Department of Education (USED) Deputy Secretary. Marten is currently serving as Superintendent of San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD).
On March 24, the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) published data from its NAEP 2021 School Survey. The data offers the first nationally representative picture of what proportion of schools offer remote learning, in-person learning, or a hybrid of the two

Biden Administration:
Nominations and Personnel:
HELP Committee begins consideration of Marten as USED Deputy Secretary: The Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee held a hearing to consider the nomination […]

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E-Update for the Week of March 22, 2021

Highlights:

On March 24, USED will hold the National Safe School Reopening Summit starting at 12:00 pm. The summit will feature remarks by First Lady Jill Biden and will focus on how schools can reopen safely and quickly.
On March 18, the Senate voted 50-49, largely on party lines, to confirm Xavier Becerra to serve as the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) was the only Republican Senator to vote for Becerra’s confirmation.
On March 17, USED announced that it will begin dispersing funds from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARP) to states by the end of March.

Biden Administration:
Nominations:
Becerra confirmed as HHS Secretary with 50-49 vote: The Senate voted 50-49, largely on party lines, to confirm Xavier Becerra to serve as the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) was the only Republican Senator to vote for Becerra’s confirmation. Prior to being confirmed, Senate Finance Committee Republicans unanimously opposed Becerra resulting in a tied committee vote of 14-14 and requiring the full Senate […]

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E-Update for the Week of March 15, 2021

Highlights:

On March 11, President Joe Biden signed into law H.R.1319, the “American Rescue Plan Act of 2021,” which will provide $1.9 trillion in funding to support the continued relief and recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
On March 9, House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) sent a Dear Colleague Letter announcing that the deadline for Members to submit requests for the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor/HHS) Appropriations Subcommittee is 6:00 pm on April 14.
On March 8, President Biden signed an Executive Order titled, “Guaranteeing an Educational Environment Free from Discrimination on the Basis of Sex, Including Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity.” The Order specifically notes that the Secretary will review the Trump Administration’s regulation related to Title IX (sexual assault).

Biden Administration:
Executive Actions:
Biden directs USED to review Trump Admin Title IX regulation: President Joe Biden signed an Executive Order titled, “Guaranteeing an Educational Environment Free from Discrimination on the Basis of Sex, Including Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity.” The Order directs the USED Secretary to review, within 100 days, all existing regulations, orders, guidance […]

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E-Update for the Week of March 8, 2021

Highlights:

On March 6, the Senate adopted an amended version of H.R.1319, the “American Rescue Plan Act.” The Senate adopted the bill on a 50-49 party line vote.
On March 3, the Senate Finance Committee was tied with a 14-14 vote to report the nomination of Xavier Becerra to serve as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) out of Committee. Senate Finance Committee Republican Members unanimously opposed the nomination.
On March 1, the Senate confirmed Dr. Miguel Cardona as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education (USED).

Biden Administration:
Nominations:
With tied vote, Senate Finance Committee moves forward Becerra nomination: The Senate Finance Committee held a full Committee hearing to report on the nomination of Xavier Becerra to serve as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The Committee was tied with a 14-14 vote to report the nomination out of Committee. Senate Finance Committee Republican Members unanimously opposed the nomination. Under the rules of the Senate, notice of the tied vote will be transmitted to the Secretary of the Senate, thereby giving either the […]

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E-Update for the Week of March 1, 2021

Highlights:

On February 27, the House adopted H.R.1319, the “American Rescue Plan Act,” on a largely party line vote of 219-212 – only two Democrats voted against the bill. The Senate is expected t consider the bill this week.
On February 26, House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) announced that the House will accept requests from Members for “Community Project Funding,” commonly referred to as earmarks.
On February 25, the Senate cleared a procedural vote on the nomination of Dr. Miguel Cardona to serve as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education (USED). The Senate voted 66-32 to invoke cloture on the nomination.

Biden Administration:
Nominations:
Cardona nomination goes through procedural vote, final Senate vote expected this week: The Senate cleared a procedural vote on the nomination of Dr. Miguel Cardona to serve as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education (USED). The Senate voted 66-32 to invoke cloture on the nomination. It is expected the final vote will be held this week. The recorded vote is here.
February 25, 2021
Becerra faces HELP, Finance Committees: The Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) […]

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E-Update for the Week of February 22, 2021

Highlights:

On February 19, President Biden announced his nomination of James Kvaal to serve as Undersecretary of the U.S. Department of Education (USED).
On February 19, the House Budget Committee released text for the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 in advance of its scheduled full Committee markup next week.
On February 16, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) sent a Dear Colleague Letter to the House Democratic Caucus with the update that the House will consider a vote on the American Rescue Plan during the week of February 22.

Biden Administration:
Nominations:
TICAS president nominated to serve as USED Undersecretary: President Biden announced his nomination of James Kvaal to serve as Undersecretary of the U.S. Department of Education (USED). Kvaal is currently serving as the president of the Institute for College Access and Success (TICAS) and was previously a Deputy Domestic Policy Adviser in the Obama Administration. The announcement is here.
February 19, 2021
Executive Actions:
Biden rescinds Trump-era apprenticeship order, recommits to traditional apprenticeship programs: President Joe Biden signed an Executive Order titled, “Revocation of Executive Order 13801,” which rescinds President Trump’s executive […]

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Immediate Actions Policymakers Could Take to Support the CC/ECE Workforce

Immediate Actions Policymakers Could Take to Support the CC/ECE Workforce
By Gina Adams, Danielle Ewen, and Grace Luetmer
As COVID-19 began to spread in the United States last March, many child care centers and home-based child care providers closed. And although providers have slowly begun to return to work, as of December, the workforce is still nearly 20 percent smaller than it was before the pandemic.
When compared with the 6 percent national drop in employment over the same time period, the challenges facing the child care field are clear. These massive job losses plague a workforce already beset with low wages and challenging working conditions.
And because the child care/early childhood education (CC/ECE) field is disproportionately composed of Black and Latina women, who face inequitable opportunities and significant wage gaps, this crisis has had a major impact on the earnings and career trajectories of many women of color.

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