Nov 1 2023

Raising the Bar: Achieving Academic Excellence

Grantmakers for Education


November 1, 3:30 pm ET

As a result of the pandemic, students are, on average, two to four months behind in reading and math, with students of color, students from low-income backgrounds, and students who are presently and historically underserved even further behind. For learners to thrive academically and be globally competitive, they require access to a broad and challenging education that provides opportunities to build deep knowledge and useful life skills across many disciplines. However, access to a comprehensive and rigorous education is not equitable across all students and all communities, which prevents our young people from realizing their potential and succeeding.

Join this session to hear from U.S. Department of Education’s senior leadership about their efforts to support academic acceleration, which includes recovery of lost instructional time, an emphasis on literacy and math concepts, rigorous learning standards, and well-rounded learning opportunities that include community schools, early childhood education; science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM); out-of-school time, and the arts.

About the Raising the Bar Series

This four-part series on raising the bar is intended to facilitate a united effort to reimagine education as part of U.S. ED's Raise the Bar: Lead the World initiative to prepare students for a future of global competitiveness and lifelong learning. The webinar series is a collaboration between Council on Foundations, Grantmakers for Education and Hispanics in Philanthropy, and features guests from the U.S. Department of Education.

See video from the first session, Senior Philanthropic Leaders Meeting with Secretary of Education, Dr. Miguel Cardona, here. See video from the second session, Creating Student Pathways for Global Engagement, here. See video from the third session, Recruiting, Retaining and Diversifying the School Professional Workforce, here.

This event is intended for members and other education grantmakers.

There is no cost to attend this Grantmakers for Education program. Registration closes 15 minutes prior to the program time. Thank you for your patience; we review each registration in advance.

Council on FoundationsHispanics in Philanthropy

About the Speakers

Swati Adarkar

Swati Adarkar
Deputy Assistant Secretary, Early Education, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education
U.S. Department of Education

Swati Adarkar most recently served as the national policy director for Start Early. Prior to this, Swati was the co-founder and President & CEO of the Children’s Institute in Oregon for 15 years, an early childhood policy and advocacy organization. Swati served on statewide advisory committees on early childhood for three Oregon governors. She provided the vision and leadership to launch and sustain the Early Works initiative which aligns birth to five services and supports with elementary school. For more than thirty years she has been a strong advocate for meeting the comprehensive needs of low-income children and families in Oregon and California and has a passion for ensuring the health and early school success of young children. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in communication studies from UCLA and a master’s in public administration from Harvard Kennedy School.

Monstserrat Garibay

Montserrat Garibay
Assistant Deputy Secretary & Director for the Office of English Language Acquisition
U.S. Department of Education

Montserrat Garibay is the assistant deputy secretary & director for the Office of English Language Acquisition at the U.S. Department of Education. Previously, she served as the senior advisor for labor relations at the Office of Secretary for two years.

Garibay was a bilingual pre-kindergarten teacher for eight years and a National Board-Certified Teacher in Austin, Texas. She served as vice president for certified employees with Education Austin, a merged union local with the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association.

She came to the U.S. from Mexico City as an undocumented immigrant and became a citizen 20 years later. She graduated from the University of Texas-Austin with a Master of Education.

Robert Medina

Robert Medina
Director, English Learner Program
Sobrato Philanthropies

Robert leads a team working with advocates, youth and family leaders, community organizers, researchers, and others to champion and uplift English Learners in California’s education policies and systems. Prior to joining Sobrato, he advised organizations on their efforts to serve diverse students and families as a senior consultant at a national education policy and strategy consulting firm. He also conducted evaluations of advocacy and policy change campaigns on a wide range of policy issues in the United States and internationally. He currently serves on the Leadership Team of the Bay Area Early Childhood Funders, an informal affiliation of Bay Area-based public and private funders focused on improving grantmaking effectiveness in the early childhood education field. He earned a master’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania. A native of Peru, Robert immigrated to the United States with his family in fifth grade and was classified as an English Learner.


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