This month, we celebrate Pride Month — honoring the history, struggles, achievements, and continuing contributions of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) community in the United States.

It’s been more than 50 years since the first Pride March, held a year after the June 28, 1969 Stonewall Uprising, a multi-day protest in New York City against unconscionable patterns of police violence, criminalization, and hostility toward LGBTQ+ people. Now, as then, pride marches and parades, and Pride Month, are tributes to resilience and progress, serving to educate, embrace diversity, and build community.

For decades, brave LGBTQ+ Americans have fought…

I never could predict what might happen in Mr. O’Neil’s art classes; I just knew I couldn’t wait for the next assignment. Back then I didn’t realize all the ways this dynamic educator, a rare man of color leading our diverse classroom of second graders, was serving as a pioneer and role model for me and my peers in John Barry Elementary School. But I’ll never forget how his teaching made me feel. As a second grader, I remember looking up — watching him encourage, challenge and guide us — and thinking: “I want to be like him.”

In the…

During our Department-wide meeting on March 2, I said I wanted you to feel proud, know you are part of something bigger than any one of us, and give your best to do the most for the students of our country. I hope that as we mark 100 days of the new administration and the close of my second month, you feel that sense of pride and purpose as I do. Despite all of us working remotely, and despite each of you making tremendous sacrifices over the past year as we weathered the pandemic, this entire agency hasn’t skipped a…

Click here for a copy of this letter in Spanish

To our Nation’s Parents and Students:

I write first, as your new Secretary of Education, to acknowledge the extraordinarily challenging year you’ve endured. Between the health crisis, economic hardship, staunch national division, and the struggle to make progress in learning while apart from teachers and peers, the impact of the pandemic is still very real and will be felt for years to come.

And yet, you’ve kept going. As a parent of two who experienced these same concerns and uncertainties, and an educator who has been moved by the resilience…

NOTE: October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month

I am Rachel Mast. I am 19 years old. I really love my life.

I have a great life, and I love telling people how great my life is.

I was born in Memphis. In third grade, my family moved to Olathe, Kansas.

I love lots of things about my life. I love my church. I love my school. I love my family. I love dancing, acting, and singing. One of the best things about my life is my friends.

I graduated from Olathe South High School in May. Just like my friends…

After three devastating hurricanes struck the Caribbean, the Department of Education undertook a series of actions to support the U.S. Virgin Islands through their recovery process. As part of that effort, ED staff committed to travelling to the Islands to provide resources, assistance, and expertise.

In November, as the ED team began their descent into the Cyril E. King Airport in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, the large-scale devastation left by Hurricanes Irma, Jose, and Maria became alarmingly clear. Once lushly green, the landscape had turned muddy and brown. Roads were washed out entirely; buildings were roofless or pushed off…

Before Trevor Beauchamp of La Crescenta, California, decided it was time to change schools, his greatest challenge was getting to class on time.

Trevor was born with spastic cerebral palsy, a condition that severely limits his mobility and requires extra effort, even when walking a few steps. The challenge was compounded by the extremely hilly terrain on his school’s campus. And although he had access to the school elevator, he still labored to get from one class to the next in the allotted three minutes.

Trevor willingly embraced this daily struggle because he always understood the importance of education. …

Toni Airaksinen, a senior at Barnard College in New York, illustrates the powerful impact of school choice and how a student’s potential for prosperity can be supported with access to educational options.

Her daily struggles consisted of parents who were unable to invest in her education, as well as inadequate access to supports, financial resources, and transportation to her desired school.

“My family was constantly faced with difficult situations due to our lack of finances. They didn’t have time to worry about my schooling. But, I knew I wanted something better out of life,” says Toni.

When Toni graduated from middle school in Cleveland, Ohio, she had two options: To attend the local high school that had a bad track record of not graduating students, or to commute two hours each way…

Today, I’m a junior at Howard University. But things could have turned out differently if I didn’t have the opportunity to pursue a different educational path when I was younger.

Thankfully, my parents were given the option to exercise school choice, which is, unfortunately, not the norm for every student in America.

My story begins in the 4th grade, when I attended my neighborhood elementary school.

There, I was intimidated. I shied away from speaking up in class. I only passed through grades because I seemed like a good student — but I didn’t really understand my lessons. …

Looking beyond disaster relief and recovery in Puerto Rico’s hurricane-damaged schools, toward building a better, stronger future for students.

“When can I go back to school?”

When that experience is disrupted, getting back to school can mean everything to students. And the adults who care for them — parents, educators and civic leaders — feel a special urgency.

For our fellow Americans in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, including more than 410,000 students in grades K-12, the 2017 hurricane season severely disrupted those reliable routines. First Irma hit, leaving more than one million people — nearly a third of the…

U.S. Dept. of Education

News, information and stories from across our nation.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store