Connect with us


U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona discusses the push to keep schools open – NPR



NPR’s Ailsa Chang talks with Education Secretary Miguel Cardona about the omicron surge and the administration’s push to keep schools open.
Will school be open tomorrow? Should school be open tomorrow? And if school is open, will there be enough bus drivers to get kids there and enough teachers in front of the classroom? This is the third calendar year of the pandemic, and the omicron wave has once again forced school systems to rethink how to live and teach with COVID. To talk about that, we are joined now by the U.S. secretary of education, Miguel Cardona. Welcome.
MIGUEL CARDONA: Thank you. Thank you for having me.
CHANG: So I want to ask about whether we’re at a pivot point here because omicron is so widespread now and high percentages of teachers are indeed vaccinated. Is it time now to acknowledge that kids are going to get COVID in school? Like, should the conversation shift towards managing COVID rather than hoping for zero COVID at school? What do you think?
CARDONA: We can’t look at our approach today the same way we did in March of 2020.
CHANG: Right.
CARDONA: We have better tools now. Children ages 5 and up are eligible for vaccine. And we saw the impact that students had learning remotely or not being able to attend school. We can do better. We have the tools available; the resources are there. And yes, it’s a challenge, and I have to commend educators and leaders across the country. But we – our students deserve the opportunity to learn in person, and we have the tools to keep our schools safe for in-person learning for our students…
CHANG: Right…
CARDONA: …And for our staffs.
CHANG: And I know that you are pushing for in-person learning. But again, should the conversation shift away from trying to get zero COVID at school or trying to manage COVID infections that will inevitably take place among students?
CARDONA: I believe – what we’ve known from the beginning is that COVID typically doesn’t spread in our schools. It spreads in our community and it comes into our schools. So I agree that we must continue the conversation about how to keep our schools open, managing COVID and not allowing it to disrupt our schools, and understanding that we have to – our default needs to be that our students belong in the classroom. And I think we can do that, and I think we have better tools – as I said – and we should be thinking about ways to keep it from spreading in our schools but recognizing that we can’t wait for this to pass for us to get our kids in the classrooms.
CHANG: All right. Well, let’s talk about how to keep schools safe right now for in-person learning. I mean, schools are saying they simply don’t have enough resources. They don’t have enough tests. They don’t have enough staff. How do you plan to resolve these shortages right now, these really compelling shortages?
CARDONA: You know, as a former educator, a building principal, I recognize the challenges that our educators are facing across the country, and I recognize that it’s tough. But we do have greater resources than ever before. You know, the American Rescue Plan provided $130 billion, and those funds could be used to hire additional staff, to incentivize bus drivers to come back into the profession if they’ve left it or educators…
CHANG: That takes a lot of time, right? I mean, what advice do you have for district leaders who don’t have enough bus drivers now, who don’t have enough adults now to teach class? They need more humans now, not more money. They need the humans now.
CARDONA: Well, what we’ve seen from the beginning is districts across the country have good testing protocols. They do have strategy to have more additional staff members in their buildings. And I think what we’re seeing today, yesterday, is as people come back from their vacations or from their breaks, they’re finding that they have COVID. I do anticipate that, with the use of mitigation strategies, we will be able to have our staff in, and I’m really pleased that the new guidance with – from CDC prevents so much quarantining when we know it’s not necessary to safely reopen our schools. So I anticipate that that’s going to improve our ability to staff our schools.
CHANG: Well, let’s talk about the season we’re in right now – winter. It poses a huge challenge in many parts of the country, obviously because of lunch. It can be really very challenging to eat outside in many regions in this country. Ventilation is hard inside. What’s your advice there?
CARDONA: My advice would be the same – what I’ve seen since March 2020 – using our space differently in our schools, ensuring adequate spacing between students, using building spaces differently – cafeterias, media centers, classrooms. It’s not ideal. I recognize it’s not ideal. But the alternative is having students learning from home, maybe not accessing internet – good internet access, not having access to meals in some cases. We can do it. It’s not ideal, but we can do it. There are greater resources to get it done. And I’ve seen great examples across the country of where it can be done. Ninety-nine percent of our students across the country have access to in-person learning despite this omicron uptick. We have to stay focused. We have to give those students the opportunity to stay learning in the classroom.
CHANG: I am curious – you said you’ve seen great examples. Can you point to states or districts that you think are managing the current situation very well at the moment? What are they doing right specifically, and where?
CARDONA: Well, you know, I’d like to lift up what I heard from the commissioner of education today from Vermont. Sixty percent of the students have been vaccinated. That means that, you know, it was all hands on deck. They’re well above the average, and what they’ve done is really partner with communities, with local leadership, state leadership to get vaccines in the arms of students to protect them and the communities. And what that means is that they’re not going to be relying on tests to keep kids in school because we know that if students are exposed to COVID-19, they have a five-day quarantine, then they can return. So it’s strategies like that that I’d like to lift.
In Tennessee, they’re doing a great job recruiting and getting more staff members in the schools to have additional human resource capital to allow for schools to stay open. There are great examples out there. I’m sure every state has specific examples of what they’re doing really well. And I – you know, this is an opportunity for us to look at the resources that we have from the federal government, from the state government, be innovative and really work in partnership with our community partners and our families – who have also had to suffer a lot because of their schedule changes – to really give our kids the best opportunity to learn in the classroom.
CHANG: Well, in the 30 seconds or so we have left, if you could speak directly to parents who are wondering right now whether it is safe to send their kids to school, what questions do you think they should be asking their district leaders?
CARDONA: Well, I’m a parent also, so I’ll put my parent hat on, and I’ll say to them what I know to be true. If our schools are following the mitigation strategies that they’re supposed to be following, if I’ve given my children an opportunity to get vaccinated, and if I talk to them openly about the importance of protecting themselves and others, they’ll have the best opportunity to succeed in the classroom, and they can do it safely.
CHANG: That is the U.S. secretary of education, Miguel Cardona. Thank you very much for joining us today.
CARDONA: All right, thank you.
Copyright © 2022 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at for further information.
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.
NPR thanks our sponsors
Become an NPR sponsor


Hi. I am Muhammad Mubeen Hassan. I am SEO Expat and Wordpress Websites Developer &  Blogger. 30 years old. I help entrepreneurs become go-to in their industry. And, I like helping the next one in line. You can follow my journey on my blog, for list Click Here If you need any post so you can email me on my this Email:  

Continue Reading
Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply


Carrots Have These 8 Amazing, Surprising Health Benefits



Initially, the vegetable originated in the geological area and the Asian United States, and it was initially only available in purple and yellow hues. Carrots are an excellent source of beta carotene, a natural mineral introduced by the body to provide sustenance, and they are high in fibre.

Carrots, which are crunchy, orange, and delicious, provide a variety of benefits to our health, pores, skin, and hair. These don’t appear to be particularly tasty, but they are loaded with numerous important nutrients, for example, beta-carotene, cell reinforcements, potassium, fibre, sustenance K, and so on.

Carrots are cultivated to promote eye health, lower dangerous LDL cholesterol, and aid in weight loss. Let’s put it to the test and find out why carrots are so good for you!

The following are twelve effective edges you might get from carrots:

1. Supports gadget

Most importantly, carrots contain a few phytochemicals that are well-known for their cancer-causing properties. Carotenoids and carotenoids are present in more than one of these associations. Overall, compounds create resistance and activate specific proteins that prevent the growth of most tumor cells. An investigation reveals on a screen that carrot juice can also fight leukemia.

2. Advances Glowing Skin

Investigate tips that stop outcome, and vegetables well off in those composites will finish pores and pores and skin ground and work with people’s appearances, thus making them more noteworthy young.

3. Fortifies Bones

Carrots are high in vitamins, minerals, and cancer-fighting agents. Vitamins B6 and K, potassium, phosphorous, and other minerals contribute to bone health, a more durable, and help with mental performance. Aside from selling the body to free extreme annihilation, cancer prevention agents keep an eye on the casing in the course of dangerous microbes, infections, and diseases. Physical cell digestion is managed by the ophthalmic component. Carotenoids have been linked to improved bone health.

4. Advances Male physiological circumstance (ED)

These fruitfulness meals may increase the number of sperm cells and their motility. According to research, this is a direct result of the fake carotenoids found in carrots, which are responsible for the vegetable’s orange color. However, it is still unknown whether carrots can improve sperm enjoyment and motility. Carrots are being tried to improve food for male physiological conditions and erectile dysfunction. Cenforce FM and Cenforce D can be used to treat impotency.

5. Keeps From Cancer and Stroke

Carrots have an unusual endowment in that they are loaded down with anti-cancer resources that will depress the cells’ blast. Essentially, studies have discovered that carrots can reduce the risk of a variety of diseases, including colon, breast, and prostate cancer.

6. Further develops the natural framework Health

Carrots contain a significant amount of dietary fibre, which plays an important role in supporting healthy stomach function. Fibre expands your stool, allowing it to pass more easily through the stomach-related plot and preventing stoppage.

7. Assists with managing polygenic affliction and basic sign

Carrots are high in fibre, which promotes cardiovascular health by lowering LDL cholesterol levels in veins and blood vessels. Calcium is absorbed through the frame of carrots, resulting in low but dangerous cholesterol levels.

Carrots have an unbalanced fibre content. An investigation found that advanced fibre consumption improves aldohexose digestion in people with the polygenic disorder. Following a healthy, well-balanced diet and maintaining a healthy weight can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.

Inconsistencies in glucose digestion may require a high level to combat aerophilic strain, and this is frequently where the inhibitor nutrients dilettanti ophthalmic thing axerophthol fats-solvent sustenance may also benefit.

According to one review, juice provided a 5 wrinkle inside the beat fundamental sign. The supplements in carrot juice, with fibre, K, nitrates, and vitamin C, have all been obtained to help this final product.

8. Advances Healthy Heart

To begin with, each cancer prevention agent is beneficial to your coronary heart. Furthermore, at 0.33, they should contain fibre, which can help you stay in shape and lower your chances of having a heart attack.

9. Forestalls devolution

Edges that are hostile to ophthalmic detail ensure the floor of the eye and provide a sharp inventiveness and perception. Taking juice will help to delay many eye diseases, such as macular degeneration, cataracts, and visual impairment. Overall, carrots contain lutein, which is an inhibitor that protects the eye from obliterating light.

10. Works on urinary organ and Liver perform

Carrots contain glutathione. Cell reinforcement has been shown to be effective in treating liver disease caused by aerophilic strains. The greens are high in plant flavonoids and beta-carotene, both of which stimulate and develop your popular liver component. Carrots contain carotenoid, which can help fight liver problems.

11. Palatable Anti-Aging

Along with carrots on your regular food, you will appreciate limiting the way you get more seasoned. Furthermore, beta-carotene functions as an inhibitor that advances cell harm, which happens as a result of the casing’s normal digestion.

12. Advances Weight Loss

Uncooked Carrots are 88% water when raw or ebb and flow. A regular carrot has the lowest difficulty level of 25 energy. Taking everything into consideration, including carrots in your diet is a wise way to fuel yourself while collecting calories.

Continue Reading


%d bloggers like this: