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Association of California School Administrators
Association of California School Administrators
Cardona tapped to lead U.S. Department of Education
January 11, 2021
President-elect Joe Biden has chosen Miguel Cardona, a former public school classroom teacher and the current Connecticut Education Commissioner, to serve as U.S. Secretary of Education.
If confirmed, Cardona will help carry out the president-elect’s ambitious plans to ensure that every student in the nation can get a high-quality education from pre-K to post-high school, regardless of their zip code, parents’ income, race, sexual orientation and gender identity or disability.
“In Miguel Cardona, America will have an experienced and dedicated public school teacher leading the way at the Department of Education — ensuring that every student is equipped to thrive in the economy of the future, that every educator has the resources they need to do their jobs with dignity and success, and that every school is on track to reopen safely,” Biden said, in a news release announcing the nomination.
Cardona will be tasked with getting students who have been in distance learning during the coronavirus pandemic back in the classroom safely. He will work with Congress and local, state and tribal leaders to secure the funding and strong public health measures needed to safely reopen most schools within the first 100 days of the new administration, according to the release.
Cardona currently serves as Connecticut’s Commissioner of Education — the first Latino to hold the position. He began his career educating and inspiring Connecticut’s youth as a fourth-grade teacher in Meriden’s public school system, the same school district he attended as a child.
Cardona became the youngest school principal in the state at age 28, serving in the position for 10 years before taking on a role addressing the district’s performance and evaluation process and ultimately rising to the position of assistant superintendent.
In addition to teaching as an adjunct professor at the University of Connecticut in the Department of Educational Leadership, Cardona served as the Co-Chairperson on the Connecticut Legislative Achievement Gap Task Force and the Connecticut Birth to Grade Three Leaders Council. Cardona earned his bachelor’s degree from Central Connecticut State University, and his masters in bilingual/bicultural education and his doctorate in education from the University of Connecticut.
His leadership during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis helped make Connecticut the first state in the nation to ensure that every one of its public school students has a laptop and a high-speed internet connection to engage in remote learning — a key driver in preventing lost school time and closing persistent equity and opportunity gaps.
“Even as we work to reopen our schools safely and responsibly, we also need to build a public education system that lifts up all Americans, regardless of race, background, or zip code,” said Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, in a news release. “Miguel Cardona is not only an experienced public servant, he is also a former public school teacher and administrator who understands what our students, teachers, and schools need to be successful.”
Miguel Cardona.
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