Education Secretary Cardona under renewed pressure to resign over failing grades

North Carolina congresswoman, who chaired a committee hearing with Education Department Secretary Miguel Cardona, gave grades of F overall and in each of the five specific areas with active hot-button issues.

Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-N.C., warmly welcomed him, acknowledging his leadership qualifications when he was confirmed. As the chairwoman of the Committee on Education and Workforce in the U.S. House of Representatives, she dedicated approximately eight minutes to highlighting the shortcomings and failures of both K-12 and post-secondary education.

Foxx has called for Cardona’s resignation for the second time in just 92 days.

During Tuesday’s hearing, Foxx expressed her dissatisfaction with the department’s performance, stating that it has received a failing grade on all major aspects. However, she also highlighted several specific concerns that need to be addressed. These include the department’s failure to adequately protect young women through its Title IX rewrite, its reluctance to have employees return to in-person work, and its inability to pass the 2023 financial audit.

Each of these failures, in my view, can be traced back to the original failure: the federal government’s intrusion into education. The Constitution does not mention education for good reasons. Education thrives when it is managed at the local level. The president’s budget proposal, unfortunately, offers more of the same, perpetuating the issues that have derailed our educational system. To truly address these problems, we must consider reducing the role of the Department of Education itself.

President Ronald Reagan once famously said, “The nine most terrifying words of the English language are, ‘I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.'”

Cardona stated that his main focus during the appearance was the budget.

“We should not create a spectacle solely for the benefit of the media or promote divisions that fuel culture wars and political sideshows, as these actions do nothing to support the success of our young people,” he emphasized.

Foxx’s recent assessment of Cardona’s performance, titled “Committee Report Card,” was shared on social media. In this evaluation, Cardona received an overall grade of F. Furthermore, the report highlighted five specific categories, all of which were marked with F grades. These categories include combatting antisemitism on college campuses, ensuring the proper and lawful use of taxpayer dollars, the rollout of FAFSA, protecting the rights of women and girls, and complying with congressional oversight.

Cardona emphasized the superiority of federal rules over state rules when it comes to Title IX, stating that it is unacceptable for leaders to selectively decide which students to protect.

Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a crucial step in determining one’s eligibility for student financial aid.

According to Foxx, colleges have experienced a significant decline in moral and institutional legitimacy due to the rise of antisemitism and pro-Hamas protests on campuses over the past seven months. From the start, Foxx has advocated for a strong response to the surge in antisemitism on campus and has set an example through her leadership.

“You, however, declined to acknowledge the antisemitic nature of the ‘from the river to the sea’ chant. I perceive this as a lack of moral clarity, rendering you unsuitable for a position in public office. In February, I called for your resignation, and in light of the recent campus riots, my conviction has only strengthened. Therefore, I reiterate my stance: you should step down from your position.”

According to Foxx, Cardona’s department, despite being warned, mishandled both the implementation of FAFSA simplification and the return to student loan repayment. Despite being given an extra year by Congress, the rollout of FAFSA was still delayed. Furthermore, the soft launch on December 30 was plagued with glitches.

According to Foxx, a survey conducted among financial aid administrators at schools revealed that more than 30% of schools have not yet started packaging aid offers due to the delay. This delay has had a devastating impact on students and universities. Nationally, FAFSA completion rates have dropped by 30%, and it is likely that low-income students have experienced even higher declines. Furthermore, universities are anticipating a decline in enrollment for the upcoming fall semester, which could potentially be worse than the impact of the pandemic.

“Choosing to attend college is a decision that holds immense significance for many individuals. Unfortunately, there are students who have been deprived of this opportunity due to their limited financial resources and reliance on the FAFSA. This denial of education may lead them to indefinitely postpone their pursuit of knowledge. What troubles me deeply is that May 1, which should have been a day for students to make their college decisions, has now become a day of waiting, as they remain paralyzed by the lack of financial information caused by your incompetence.”

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