WASHINGTON, D.C. (January 19, 2021)—President-elect Joe Biden has named San Diego’s Superintendent Cindy Marten for Deputy Education Secretary.
Marten was a second grade classroom teacher for 17 years before she took on other roles as a vice principal, principal, and literacy specialist. In 2013 she was appointed to lead the district. Since her appointment the school system has been recognized for improving students reading achievement and graduation rates have increased.
Marten is a Black Lives Matter supporter–and an extreme activist–supporting equity in education. But what is interesting about Marten–is her latest article that she wrote—which describes more about her beliefs and how she can change education across our nation.
“Our nation cannot afford a lost generation of learners,” Martin wrote. “Nor can we afford an incomplete recovery that leaves communities of color behind and extends 400 years of inequality for another decade.”
What is concerning about Marten is her support of Black Lives Matter and not All Lives Matter. There are as many White students who have suffered from inequality as Black students and other minority students. Supporting Black Lives Matter and not All Lives Matter —is the root of modern day inequalities.
San Diego schools have remained largely closed for in person instruction this year. Marten in part supported the lockdown, but she discussed a massive testing plan she developed with local scientists to help reopen classrooms.
“We are educators,” Marten told Education Week in December 2020. Marten was concerned about a lack of federal support and guidance. “We are not epidemiologists and virologists who understand the nature of this disease and who understand public health policy.” She wrote a letter to the Biden’s transition team which placed her in the forefront of being appointed to serve as the Deputy Education Secretary. Biden has nominated an advocate of Black Lives Matter who advocates tripling Title I funding for disadvantaged students and boosting federal special education funding.
Marcus Nicolas a former Title I High School Teacher who lives in Tallahassee, Florida would disagree with Deputy Secretary of Education nominee Marten. “Poor reading or math scores will establish the school’s reputation as insufficient for top performers or just plan “bad”; those assessments will alter enrollment patterns, boosting registration in some schools while decreasing registration in others,” said Nicolas. “Unstable school enrollment patterns make it hard for the administrators at a Title I school to plan an academic school year, which, in turn, builds inherent inequities. As a teacher, Nicolas did not set boundaries based on background or color of the student’s skin, but gave students the opportunities the craved; exploratory and experimental learning opportunities.
Biden has been selective in where he appoint’s Black Democrats in his administration—in key positions. Biden has an opportunity to improve Title I schools reputations. “As an educator for the last 10 years, many as a high school teacher, I have seen Title I schools’ enrollment arrested by an underserved reputation,” added Nicolas.
Unlike Marten, Nicolas focused on maintaining the best teachers in Title I schools–increasing efforts to get and keep the best teachers to ensure every student was represented in the school improvement plan. Nicolas unlike Marten supports partnerships in our schools —that benefit all of our children and not just Black Lives Matter children. All students deserve an advocate who will fight to ensure those students have the opportunity to experience a high quality education—and Biden has missed an opportunity to seek out the best advocate for children–as his Deputy Education Secretary or Education Secretary.
The problem in our Nation’s education system is not funding, but diversity at the top and Biden transition team has failed to recognize—the lack of diversity.
Biden has named Connecticut Education Commission Miguel Cardona as his education secretary.