“President Biden’s First 100 Days: Transformation in Action” was the featured topic of this year’s Education Justice Lecture delivered before a virtual audience of over 200 on May 6 by Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond, President & CEO of the Learning Policy Institute (LPI).
The Education Justice Lecture, now in its twelfth year, is presented by Education Law Center to showcase the leading voices in the nation and New Jersey on the frontlines of advancing public education rights and opportunities.
Dr. Darling-Hammond, who also led President Biden’s transition team on education, underscored the backdrop of the multiple crises facing the United States and their impact on structural inequities and racism in the nation’s public schools:
Dr. Darling-Hammond explained how these profound challenges are behind the President’s call for a comprehensive federal policy to support major investments and reforms in public education, including addressing discrimination and segregation, equitable funding and resources, universal preschool, wholistic student supports, investments in the teacher workforce and access to post-secondary education and college:
Dr. Darling-Hammond also reviewed the massive infusion of federal funds already approved by Congress, including the American Rescue Plan (ARP), to provide the resources necessary to not only safely reopen schools, but also to begin making fundamental changes in teaching, giving all students a meaningful opportunity to learn, and accelerating student success, especially for students in schools segregated by poverty and race:
Dr. Darling-Hammond’s presentation was followed by remarks from New Jersey Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman, New York Congressman Jamaal Bowman, and Marie Blistan, President of the New Jersey Education Association. All three discussed the daunting challenges schools will face as they continue to reopen and how best to address students’ learning and social and emotional needs in the coming years. They also described how the pandemic can be used to break down structural barriers based on class, race, ethnicity and gender to give all students access to an education that prepares them for full participation in our democracy and economy.
ELC gives special thanks to Educational Testing Service and the New Jersey Education Association for their continued sponsorship of the annual Education Justice Lecture ELC also thanks the many organizations, law firms, businesses and individuals that contributed to ELC in support of the event and our work.
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