Senate Approves Connecticut Schools Chief Miguel Cardona as Education Secretary
If Miguel Cardona is confirmed, his first task will be reopening schools across the nation.
UPDATE March 2, 2021: The U.S. Senate approved Miguel Cardona on Monday as secretary of the U.S. Department of Education, with 64 senators approving and 33 voting not to confirm.
ORIGINAL December 23, 2020 article:
Washington – President-elect Joe Biden will appoint Dr. Miguel Cardona, 45, to serve as education secretary. Cardona is currently the education commissioner for Connecticut and was formerly a public school teacher and principal.
If he is confirmed, his first task will be reopening schools across the nation, reports the Associated Press. Although Cardona quickly closed the state’s public schools when the pandemic broke out this past spring, he now is pressing for campuses to reopen, claiming that keeping students home causes them harm.
Biden has pledged to have most U.S. schools open by the end of his first 100 days as president. The president-elect is also promising to provide new federal guidelines on campus re-openings.
As Connecticut’s education commissioner since 2019, Cardona has primarily been focused on reopening schools in that state. About a third of Connecticut’s public school students are currently able to attend classes in person full time.
Cardona’s appointment is being applauded by teachers’ unions, but school choice advocates expressed relief at his appointment because he doesn’t have as strong ties to teachers unions as other contenders, reports the AP.
Cardona’s parents are from Puerto Rico and lived in public housing when they moved to Connecticut, reports NPR. As an educator, he has worked to improve education for English-language learners and closing the achievement gaps between minority and white students.
The Biden administration is considering having the U.S. Department of Education rescind guidance issued by its current secretary, Betsy DeVos, on school desegregation efforts, gender identity and the “discriminatory discipline” of students of color, reports NPR.
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