Department Hosts Raising the Bar: Literacy & Math Series to Address Academic Recovery

Archived Information

Department Hosts Raising the Bar: Literacy & Math Series to Address Academic Recovery

October 18, 2022

As part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s ongoing efforts to support the academic recovery of students from the impact of the pandemic, on Oct. 26, the U.S. Department of Education will host the first of five sessions focused on strategies and programs to boost student literacy and math outcomes.

These sessions will highlight strategies and best practices to help states, districts, and schools improve learning outcomes for students especially in literacy and mathematics. The series seeks to build engagement from the field; identify collaboration opportunities among research, practice, and funding; and lift best practices and resources for practitioners and policymakers to take action to address learning loss and academic recovery.

“We always knew the pandemic would have a profound impact on students’ learning, which is why the Biden-Harris administration made it a priority from Day One to safely reopen our schools and secure the American Rescue Plan’s $122 billion investment in public education to support students’ recovery,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. “From that moment on, our Department has encouraged state and local leaders to spend their American Rescue Plan dollars on evidence-based strategies for ensuring our students can catch up in the classroom. I’m pleased to announce a new expert-led speaker series that will equip educators, school leaders, and district administrators with the latest information on the science of learning and the most promising tools for accelerating academic recovery, so that they can raise the bar to support our students and level up their skills in the critical areas of math and reading.”

The sessions will occur monthly from October through February and will center on sustained, cohesive efforts to improve educational practice. The kickoff event on Oct. 26, hosted at the U.S. Department of Education, is a continued call to action to practitioners, education leaders, teachers, parents, students, and policymakers to continue to leverage the extraordinary level of available federal resources to mitigate learning loss and accelerate academic recovery.

Additionally, next week the Department will issue a guide to drive strategies in districts and states on how to best address learning loss and academic recovery. This guide will be a follow-up to the extensive guidance provided in the handbooks on reopening and recovery provided by the Department in early 2021.

The subsequent four convenings include topics focused on:

  • Learning research-based practices from content experts
  • Highlighting promising practices from SEAs and districts
  • Leveraging ARP funding to implement literacy and math achievement best practices at scale
  • Offering dedicated time and expertise to support action planning (i.e., guided working sessions and support from technical assistance providers).

More information on the additional convenings to come.



Session Topic  

Session 1  

October 26, 2022 

Enhancing Awareness of the Best Strategies and Resources Available to Address Learning Loss and Academic Recovery  

Session 2  

November 10, 2022 (Date is subject to change)  

Best Practices and Research on Rigorous Instruction for all Students in Literacy and Mathematics 

Session 3 

December 8, 2022 (Date is subject to change) 

Increasing Support for Students Beyond the Classroom  

Session 4 

January 12, 2023 (Date is subject to change) 

Addressing Educator Shortages and Parent/Family Engagement in Literacy and Mathematics 

Session 5 

February 9, 2023 
(Date is subject to change) 

Highlighting the Best Examples of Putting Policy into Practice  

The Literacy and Math series is part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to supporting students’ academic recovery and ensuring recovery efforts are meeting student, parent, and family needs. As part of that effort, in January, Secretary Cardona laid out his vision for education in America by boldly addressing opportunity and achievement gaps in education.

Through the American Rescue Plan (ARP), the Biden-Harris Administration is investing in evidence-based solutions that are driving academic recovery and providing additional mental health supports. Since education was disrupted in March 2020 due to the global covid-19 pandemic, the Biden-Harris Administration has prioritized recovery for students through multiple efforts. In addition to providing $130 billion in ARP funds for K-12 education to support the safe reopening of K-12 schools and to meet the needs of all students, the Biden-Harris Administration:

  • Awarded nearly $1 billion to 56 states and territories through the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act to help schools in high-need districts provide students with safe and supportive learning opportunities and environments that are critical for their success.
  • Launched the National Partnership for Student Success to recruit 250,000 new tutors, mentors, and other adults in high-impact roles, and support states, school districts and community organizations in establishing high-quality programs.
  • Launched the Engage Every Student Initiative to support summer learning and afterschool programs with ARP funds, alongside other state and local funds. 
  •  Launched a campaign through the Best Practices Clearinghouse to highlight and celebrate evidence-based and promising practices implemented by states, schools, and school districts using ARP funds to support learning recovery, increased academic opportunities, and student mental health.
  • Launched the National Parents and Families Engagement Council to empower parents and school communities with knowledge about how their schools are using and can use federal funds to provide the necessary academic and mental health supports.
  • Made it easier for families and stakeholders to see how their states and school districts are using ARP funds by requiring State Educational Agencies and Local Educational Agencies to create plans for using ARP Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds, engage key stakeholders as they draft their plans, and make those plans accessible to the public through an interactive map. Previous rounds of relief funding did not require these plans.