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With Former Top-Ranking Education Staff as Key Biden Advisers, Will White House and Ed Department Be on the ‘Same Page?’

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Catherine Lhamon, Miguel Cardona and Carmel Martin (Getty Images) As President Joe Biden assembles a team of educators to lead the U.S. Department of Education, he’s also made key appointments to the White House that bolster his pledge to make education a major focus of his administration.

But the presence of Catherine Lhamon and Carmel Martin, who held high-level positions at the department during the Obama administration, at the top of Biden’s domestic policy team could raise questions over who’s in charge of his education agenda, according to those who have worked in past administrations.

For now, reopening schools is at the top of that agenda. And education secretary nominee Miguel Cardona, whose confirmation hearing is Wednesday, said on that issue there shouldn’t be any confusion. Speaking last week on a radio program , he said it will be important “to make sure there is consistency in messaging, to make sure there is one message, one plan.”

Educators are eager to move past conflicting guidance from federal agencies on that issue as well as the Trump administration’s contentious focus on private school choice. While many are encouraged to have education experts in the West Wing — and former teachers at the top […]

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