Biden picks Connecticut schools chief Miguel Cardona as Ed Secretary


Jeremy Bauer-Wolf
December 22, 2020

Dive Brief:

  • President-elect Joe Biden on Tuesday tapped Miguel Cardona, the chief of Connecticut’s public schools, to lead the U.S. Department of Education.
  • Cardona, a Latino man with two decades of experience in K-12 schools, fulfills Biden’s pledge to pick an Education Secretary with deep roots in public education.
  • But Cardona, who does not have a deep higher education leadership background, will also be tasked with guiding colleges through the public health crisis.

Dive Insight:

Cardona stands in contrast to current Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, a billionaire who emphasized school choice and promoted programs that would divert tax dollars to vouchers for students to attend private schools.
But Cardona grew up in public housing, the Hartford Courant reported. He started out as an elementary school teacher in Meriden, Conn., before serving as a principal for a decade, according to his biography. He was Connecticut’s youngest principal at age 28, the Courant reported. He was picked as the state’s Education Commissioner in 2019.
DeVos was an unpopular choice among education groups. And many of her postsecondary policies have been widely panned, including new regulations for how colleges should address campus sexual assaultrules that roll back an Obama-era crackdown on for-profit colleges, and stringent foreign gifts reporting requirements.