Biographical Information: Cardona was born in Meriden, Conn. After earning a degree in bilingual bicultural education from Central Connecticut State University, he began his education career in 1998, working as a 4th-grade teacher at Israel Putnam Elementary School in Meriden. In 2003, Cardona took the helm of Hanover Elementary School, becoming Connecticut’s youngest principal at age 28. Less than ten years later, in 2012, he was awarded the National Distinguished Principal Award for Connecticut. That same year he earned his doctorate from the University of Connecticut. He became a district administrator in 2013, working as the Meriden district’s performance and evaluation specialist. In 2019, Cardona became Connecticut’s state superintendent. In that role, he pushed for reopening schools during the pandemic.
Serving Under: President Joe Biden
Dates of Tenure: 2021-Present
Fun Fact: Cardona sometimes played the bongo drums at events with his father and brother’s band.
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Archives of Note:
Cardona became head of the Connecticut Department of Education in 2019. He’s also been a teacher, principal, and district administrator. (Dec. 22, 2020)
Connecticut Education Commissioner Miguel Cardona, Biden’s pick for education secretary, has taken positions on an array of K-12 issues. (Dec. 22, 2020)
President-elect Joe Biden introduced Connecticut schools chief Miguel Cardona as his choice for U.S. secretary of education Wednesday. (Dec. 23, 2020)
Watch EdWeek politics reporters Andrew Ujifusa and Evie Blad as they discuss 5 key questions about Dr. Miguel Cardona, President-elect Joe Biden’s pick for Education Secretary. (Jan. 5, 2021)
Many who’ve worked with Joe Biden’s pick for education secretary say he’s ready for what would be a giant step up. (Jan. 14, 2021)
The nominee for secretary of education stressed the value of COVID-19 relief and that schools must be “free of harassment and discrimination.” (Feb. 3, 2021)
Education Week reporters Andrew Ujifusa and Evie Blad discuss key topics that arose during Miguel Cardona’s confirmation hearing, and what comes next. (Feb. 4, 2021)
The former Connecticut education commissioner got his start as an elementary school teacher and was a principal and school administrator. (March 1, 2021)
In an interview after a school reopening summit, the education secretary also addressed teachers’ union concerns about CDC guidance. (March 24, 2021)
President Joe Biden said his administration intends to address the “systemic causes” of educational disparities faced by Hispanic students. (Sept. 13, 2021)
The education secretary is taking heat from some who say his advocacy is overshadowed by Biden’s push to keep schools open. (Jan. 20, 2022)
The education secretary outlined his vision for education and specific goals for schools, but COVID has complicated his work. (Jan. 27, 2022)
Connecticut Department of Education A short biography from the Connecticut Department of Education
How to Cite This Article
Education Week Library Staff. (2021, March 1). Miguel Cardona, U.S. Education Secretary: Biography and Achievements. Education Week. Retrieved Month Day, Year from https://www.edweek.org/policy-politics/miguel-cardona-u-s-education-secretary-background-and-achievements/2021/02