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What they are saying about Biden’s Secretary of Education Nominee Dr. Miguel Cardona Updated for 2021

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Updated: February 24, 2021

U.S. President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. on Tuesday announced Dr. Miguel Cardona as his nominee for Secretary of Education. 

Dr. Miguel Cardona received a broad chorus of praise from lawmakers, teachers, and advocates as someone who is ready on day one to lead the Biden-Harris Administration effort to invest in all students, support educators, and make reopening schools safely a national priority. 

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Below is what they are saying about his nomination:

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Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont “Just another CT superstar we’re losing … big win for kids and teachers and educators around the country” [Via John Craven on Twitter, 12/22/20]

Senator Chris Murphy, Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee “My friend Miguel Cardona is everything you would want in a Secretary of Education. A classroom teacher, a fighter for educational equity, a consensus builder. He has risen quickly through the ranks for a reason.” [Tweet, 12/21/20]

Senator Richard Blumenthal “Miguel Cardona is a champion for children with hands-on experience in the classroom & management. He believes in excellence for every single student’s education. CT should be proud that Dr. Cardona would lead the nation into a new era in educational excellence, reversing the devastating damage done by Betsy DeVos. We would miss him as commissioner in CT for all the reasons he would be a great Cabinet member.” [Tweet, 12/21/20]

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi “President-elect Biden, in nominating Dr. Miguel Cardono as Secretary of Education, has chosen a champion of our children, who brings strong policy expertise and decades of experience serving at nearly every level of our education system.” [Tweet, 12/22/20]

Congressional Hispanic Caucus “Amidst an unprecedented crisis with COVID-19 exacerbating educational inequity, we applaud the nomination of Dr. Miguel Cardona, an experienced educator and visionary leader, to lead the Department of Education. A son of Puerto Rican parents who lived in public housing, Dr. Cardona brings a valuable perspective and record of results as a public school teacher, principal, assistant superintendent, adjunct professor, and the first Latino Education Commissioner of Connecticut. We look forward to working closely with Dr. Cardona to advance Latino excellence in education and improve the lives of all American families.” [Statement, 12/22/20]

Representative Joaquin Castro, Chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus “A son of Puerto Rican parents who lived in public housing, Dr. Cardona brings a valuable perspective & record of results as a public school teacher, principal, assistant superintendent, adjunct professor & 1st Latino Education Commissioner of Connecticut. Congrats @teachcardona!” [Tweet, 12/22/20]

Representative Raul Ruiz, Chairman-elect of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus “Excellent choice! We need an experienced educator and visionary leader like  @teachcardona to lead the Department of Education through COVID-19 and beyond. I look forward to working with Dr. Cardona to pursue equity in education and improve the lives of all American families!” [Tweet, 12/22/20]

Representative Nydia Velázquez, Congressional Hispanic Caucus “Congrats to Miguel Cardona! Instead of an out of touch billionaire, we will have someone who knows the public school system, understands the challenges facing students during COVID-19, and will work to close the achievement gap. A historic choice for Puerto Ricans & our nation.” [Tweet, 12/22/20]

Representative Joe Courtney, House Education and Labor Committee “President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris should be commended for this outstanding pick for Secretary of Education. Doctor Cardona brings a powerful personal story of the importance of education in his life, which began in difficult circumstances. He brings also twenty years of experience working in the classrooms of our public schools. He knows what it means to lead and inspire real teachers, students and parents—that’s why he was named statewide Principal of the Year in Connecticut, which from its beginnings has made strong investments in public education. Congratulations to Doctor Cardona and his family on this exciting announcement. I know it comes following years of hard work and late nights, and I look forward as a member of the House Education and Labor Committee to working with him for a more successful, inclusive department of education.” [Statement, 12/22/20]

Representative Alan Lowenthal “We need leaders at the Department of Education who understand the needs of educators. We need leadership and support to enable safe reopening of schools, and support for students who have fallen behind due to the pandemic.” [Tweet, 12/22/20]

Representative-elect Jamaal Bowman, Incoming Member, House Education and Labor Committee “.@teachcardona’s roots are where the Secretary of Education’s need to be — in America’s public schools. I look forward to working with him to navigate the education crisis that is COVID and build a world renowned public education system” [Tweet, 12/22/20]

Randi Weingarten, President, American Federation of Teachers “Miguel Cardona is not just a proud product of public schools—he’s made strengthening public education and fighting for equity his life’s work. With his experience as a student, fourth-grade teacher, principal, assistant superintendent and commissioner in Connecticut, Dr. Cardona—a former AFT member—will transform the Education Department to help students thrive, a reversal of the DeVos disaster of the last four years.” [Statement, 12/22/20]

Becky Pringle, President, National Education Association “In these tough times, students, educators, and families face unprecedented challenges — from the COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis to the systemic racism that has held back too many students for too long. We look forward to partnering with Secretary-designate Miguel Cardona in taking on these challenges together.   As a former public-school teacher, he understands what’s at stake for students and promises to respect the voice of educators as we work to safely reopen school buildings, colleges, and university campuses, while also forging a path to transform public education into a racially and socially just and equitable system that is designed to prepare every student to succeed in a diverse and interdependent world.” [Statement, 12/22/20]

John King, Former Education Secretary “I am pleased that President-Elect Biden is nominating Miguel Cardona as U.S. Secretary of Education. As an English learner and a first generation college student, his personal story is inspiring and reflective of the lived experiences of many students. Miguel’s leadership in Connecticut demonstrates a deep commitment to education equity and diversity. His experience as an educator will be vital to helping the nation recover from the COVID-19 crisis and to addressing persistent opportunity gaps for students of color and those from low-income backgrounds. At The Education Trust, we are looking forward to working together with Dr. Cardona and the Biden-Harris administration toward a more just future for our nation’s students, especially those most underserved.”  [Statement, 12/22/20]

Lily Eskelsen García, Former President, National Education Association “@JoeBiden  &  @KamalaHarris told educators that they would have one of their own at the Dept of Education. Today, they kept their promise by selecting Miguel Cardona, a former teacher, principal & union member to be the next Sec of Education. I proudly support him.” [Tweet, 12/22/20]

Central Connecticut State University “We are #CCSUProud today! Congratulations Dr. Miguel Cardona ’97!” [Tweet, 12/22/20]

Estela Lopez, Vice Chair, Connecticut State Board of Education “I know that when people hear my accent, they think less of me, you know, like a second-class citizen,” she said. “So to now see someone that represents me being appointed secretary of Education, while also bringing credibility to that position as well as knowledge and care, someone who’s passionate about education — it’s incredibly powerful.” [Via NBC News, 12/22/20]

Jean Desravines, Chief Executive Officer, New Leaders “As a Black man who has been in education for over 20 years, having someone like Miguel who has the lived experience of so many of our Black and brown kids gives me chills,” Mr. Desravines said. “The issue around representation is important, and seeing it at the top matters.” [Via New York Times, 12/22/20]

John Feinblatt President, Everytown for Gun Safety “The Secretary of Education has two jobs: ensuring every child receives a quality education, and keeping them safe in school. As a parent and the president of a gun safety organization, I am eager to work with Dr. Miguel Cardona to prevent gun violence in our nation’s educational institutions.” [Statement, 12/22/20]

Shannon Watts, Founder, Moms Demand Action “No child should have to live in fear of gun violence in their school — but it’s a devastating reality for too many students in this country. We believe that Dr. Miguel Cardona will be an ally to the gun safety movement as we fight to end this uniquely American epidemic.” [Statement, 12/22/20]

Makayla Jordan, Students Demand Action National Advisory Board “Students across the country started a movement in response to the gun violence in our schools and communities. We are ready to stand with Dr. Miguel Cardona to create a future free from gun violence.” [Statement, 12/22/20]

Arturo Vargas, CEO, NALEO “Very excited to learn of the nomination of Miguel Cardona to lead @usedgov @NALEO members in #Connecticut have high regard for him.” [Tweet, 12/25/20]

Blythe Bernhard, Reporter, St. Louis Post-Dispatch “This is something – praise for Biden’s ed secretary pick Miguel Cardona filling my inbox from ed reformers and teachers’ unions alike” [Tweet, 12/22/20]

Gladis Kersaint, Dean of Educational Leadership Program, University of Connecticut’s Neag School of Education “He’s thoughtful,” she said. “And he’s very committed to meeting the needs of students and a diversity of student populations.” [Via EdSurge, 12/22/20]

Hamish Brewer, Education Speaker, Activist “Biden set to nominate Miguel Cardona as education secretary, such amazing news, @teachcardona will be a game changer!!! Stoked to get behind and support someone who will understand the needs of our schools, educators and students!” [Tweet, 12/22/20]

Wilson Cruz, Actor “Boricuaaaaa! 🇵🇷  Congratulations to self described “goofy, little Puerto Rican kid” Dr. Miguel Cardona, who was born in the Yale Acres public housing complex in Meriden, CT.  Representation matters and it matters MOST in our schools! 👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽 “ [Tweet, 12/22/20]

Fairfield Democrats “President-elect @JoeBiden to pick #Connecticut schools Chief Cardona as Sec’y of #Education. Cardona became CT’s top education official in ’19. He began his education career in Meriden as a teacher, then principal, then asst superintendent. He was CT principal of the yr in ’12.” [Tweet, 12/22/20]

Kate Taylor, Reporter, NYT “Biden’s pick for education secretary, current Connecticut education commissioner Miguel A. Cardona, has pushed for schools to reopen while retaining the support of teachers unions in his state – an impressive political feat” [Tweet, 12/22/20]

Hearst Connecticut Media Editorial Board “Connecticut’s loss of its education leader is the nation’s true gain. State Education Commissioner Miguel Cardona on Tuesday became President-elect Joe Biden’s choice for U.S. Secretary of Education. He is an excellent candidate for many reasons. Anyone who cares about education will appreciate having a former teacher in that critical position, someone who understands on a classroom level the needs and challenges of public schools.” [Stamford Advocate, 12/22/20]

Kate Marshall, Nevada Lt. Governor “As someone who was also 1st in family to attend college, I am very  excited to see @teachcardona as Ed secretary.  Biden picks Miguel Cardona, Connecticut schools chief, as education secretary “ [Tweet, 12/22/20]

Bob Rader, Executive Director, Connecticut Association of Boards of Education “I am thrilled that Dr. Miguel Cardona has been nominated to serve as the next Secretary of Education! Dr. Cardona is a good friend of public education and the Connection Association of Boards of Education. I’ve had the privilege of working with him closely over the past few years, and it is clear that Dr. Cardona cares deeply about the issues facing education, such as the need to ensure equity for all students, including those who are not English speakers and those with disabilities. He has also provided strong leadership during the pandemic, working closely with school boards, superintendents and teachers across the state to provide the best possible education for our students despite the unprecedented circumstances. While Dr. Cardona will be missed in Connecticut, I know that the tone and direction he will set as Secretary will be positive for the nation” [Statement, 12/22/20]

Anna Maria Chávez, CEO, National School Boards Association “We are pleased that Dr. Miguel Cardona has been nominated as Secretary of Education for President-Elect Biden’s Administration. Dr. Cardona’s lifetime commitment to transforming public education is critical at a time like this, when our education system is reeling with the uncertainty of COVID-19, a lack of resources that strains our capacity for safe, in-person schooling, and the digital divide that hinders our students’ transition to remote or hybrid learning.” [Statement, 12/22/20]

Katherine Dunn, Policy Analyst, Southern Poverty Law Center “We look forward to working with a new administration that puts students and educators first, is committed to the future of public education, and will work to ensure there is a school in every community where all children can thrive.” [Statement, 12/22/20]
Simon Ateba
Simon Ateba
Simon Ateba covers the White House, the U.S. government, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions for Today News Africa in Washington D.C. Simon can be reached on simonateba@todaynewsafrica.com

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