nydailynews.com nydailynews.com 24 Dec, 2020 11:00 am

Miguel Cardona’s opportunity: A reform mission for Biden’s education secretary pick

Miguel Cardona’s opportunity: A reform mission for Biden’s education secretary pick
Thank goodness. The news that Connecticut Education Commissioner Miguel Cardona is the choice for U.S. education secretary probably means we can avoid four tumultuous years of tussling. Considering the two runner-ups — an academic and a former union president, both likely to wage education wars on the left as DeVos did on the right — this was a close call.

Earlier this month, the National Student Clearinghouse reported that college enrollment for low-income high school graduates declined by a shocking 29%, almost double the rate for students from higher-income high schools.In recent years, however, that data has been used for an entirely different purpose — tracking students through college, which gives high school counselors accurate data on issues such as which colleges students should attend to ensure they will actually walk away with degrees.Because the study-and-homework skills needed to improve a high school GPA turn out to be the very same skills needed to get through college courses.Because the best charter networks, which serve large populations of low-income, minority students, figured out how to boost the college success rates for their alumni by two to four times the national average for similar students.

Probably the biggest breakthrough by the charter networks was using Clearinghouse data for college guidance.But with collaborations with charter networks, the districts will find partners willing to share the nuts-and-bolts about how to make it work.

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