Miguel Cardona: What to know about Biden’s education secretary pick

Miguel Cardona: What to know about Biden’s education secretary pick

President
Biden
has
tapped
Miguel
Cardona
to
lead
the

Education
Department,
and
he’ll
soon
have
the
chance to
make
his
case
for
the
job
before
the
Senate
during
a
confirmation
hearing. 

If
confirmed,
Cardona
will
step
into
the
hot
seat
after
Education
Secretary
Betsy
DeVos,
who
was
the
bitter
target
of
Democratic
scorn
for
her
changes
to
Title
IX,
her
support
of
school
choice
and
charter
programs,
and
for
changes
to
Obama-era
student
loan
borrowing
policies.

Here’s
everything
to
know
about
Cardona,
45,
Connecticut’s
education
commissioner:


He
was
an
ESL
learner
in
Connecticut
public
schools 

Cardona
grew
up
in
Meridien,
Connecticut,
speaking
Spanish
from
birth
with
his
Puerto
Rican
parents.
He
struggled
to
learn
English
in
kindergarten.
Supporters
have
said
he
“understands
the
challenges”
of
English
second
language
learners
in
schools.
He
was
raised
in
a
housing
project
in
Meridien
and
graduated
from
a
technical
high
school
as
part
of
the
automotive
studies
program,
before
earning
an
undergraduate,
master’s and
Ph.D.
in
education. 


WHO
IS
JEN
PSAKI,
BIDEN’S
WHITE
HOUSE
PRESS
SECRETARY? 

He’s
dedicated
much
of
his
career
to
closing
the
achievement
gap
between
English
language
learners
and
native
speakers
in
U.S.
schools. 


He’s
a
lifelong
educator

Cardona
currently
serves
as
Connecticut’s
education
commissioner.
He
began
his
career
as
a
fourth-grade
teacher
and,
at
27,
became
the
youngest
principal
in
Connecticut
at
Hanover
High
School.
From
2015
to
2019,
Cardona
served
as
the
assistant
superintendent
in
his
hometown’s
8,000-student
district. 


BIDEN’S
CABINET
PICKS:
FULL
LIST 

In
tapping
the
Connecticut
commissioner,
Biden
passed
over
two
high-profile
teachers
union
representatives

Lily
Eskelsen
Garcia,
former
president
of
the
National
Education
Association,
and
Randi
Weingarten,
president
of
the
American
Federation
of
Teachers.
The
president
was
also
reportedly
considering
Leslie
Fenwick,
dean
emeritus
at
Howard
University. 


He
spearheaded
efforts
to
reopen
Connecticut
schools

As
education
commissioner,
Cardona
has
been
a
vociferous
advocate
of
sending
children
back
to
school
for
in-person
learning
amid
the
coronavirus
pandemic,
noting
the
low
transmission
rate
among
children
and
the
devastating
setbacks
of
remote
learning. 

Biden
himself
has
advocated
for
most
public
schools
to
reopen
within
his
first
100
days
in
office,
and
if
confirmed,
Cardona
will
be
tasked
with
leading
the
effort. 

Under
the
leadership
of
Cardona
and
Gov.
Ned
Lamont,
Connecticut
was
a
rare
blue
state
to
express
a
strict
preference
for
in-person
learning
amid
the
rise
and
fall
of
coronavirus
cases
in
the
state. 

Ultimately,
the
decision
was
left
to
school
districts
to
decide
how
to
handle
closings.
In
November,
Cardona
and
acting
Department
of
Health
Commissioner
Deidre
Gifford
sent
a
letter
to
local
superintendents
saying
they
do
not
think
“arbitrary,
date-based
closures
of
school
are
warranted
at
this
time.”

“We
are
not
seeing
sustained
person-to-person
transmission
of
COVID-19
in
schools
or
outbreaks
of
COVID-19
in
schools,
despite
increasing
levels
of
COVID-19
in
the
community,”
they
wrote.

He
recently
drew
attention
to
new
state
data
showing
that
students
who
are
learning
online
have
missed
twice
as
many
days
of
class
as
those
attending
school
in-person.
The
data
also
showed
that
students
with
high
needs,
including
those
learning
English,
are
far
more
likely
to
be
considered
chronically
absent
this
school
year.


He’s
expressed
some
support
for
charter
schools 

“As
a
parent
myself
I
want
to
make
sure
I
have
options
for
my
children,”
Cohen
told
the
Connecticut
Post
last
year.

Cardona
said
he
wants
public,
charter,
and
magnet
schools
to
all
abide
by
the
same
accountability
measures.
Still,
during
his
hearing
for
education
commissioner,
Cardona
said
his
work
would
center
on
public
schools. 

“Charter
schools
provide
choice
for
parents
that
are
seeking
choice,
so
I
think
it’s
a
viable
option,
but
[neighborhood
schools],
that’s
going
to
be
the
core
work
that
not
only
myself
but
the
people
behind
me
in
the
agency
that
I
represent
will
have
while
I’m
commissioner.”

Jeanne
Allen,
CEO
of
the
Center
for
Education
Reform,
praised
the
choice
of
Cardona. 

“President-Elect
Joe
Biden’s
choice
of
Connecticut
Commissioner
of
Education,
Miguel
Cardona,
is
good
news
for
the
millions
of
parents
and
students

Had
Biden
picked
a
union
leader
or
equivalent,
it
would
have
been
akin
to
an
act
of
war
on
the
progress
of
the
last
three
decades
of
pushing
power
to
parents,”
she
said
in
a
statement. 

CLICK
HERE
TO
GET
THE
FOX
NEWS
APP

Biden, a
self-described
“union
guy,”
has
called
for
eliminating
federal
funding
of
for-profit
charter
schools.
Federal
funding
only
accounts
for
about
10
percent
of
school
funding. 

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