Blog

Your Education Road Map

Politics K-12®

ESSA. Congress. State chiefs. School spending. Elections. Education Week reporters keep watch on education policy and politics in the nation’s capital and in the states.

Federal

Watch: A Primer on Miguel Cardona, Biden’s Education Secretary Pick

By Evie Blad — January 06, 2021 2 min read

What experience would Connecticut Education Commissioner bring to the role of U.S. Secretary of Education? And what challenges will he face if the Senate confirms him for the role?

President-elect Joe Biden announced his intent to appoint Cardona last month, after weeks of speculation about who he would select to lead the Education Department.

In this Facebook live video, Education Week runs through what we know about Cardona and what will likely be a carefully followed confirmation process. Check out the conversation and then visit some of our relevant stories linked here.

A “Public School Educator” for Education Secretary
Biden promised to appoint a “public school educator,” in part to draw a contrast to current Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, who has been criticized for her lack of K-12 experience. Cardona has been a teacher, principal, district administrator, and state schools’ chief.

Cardona’s Approach to Reopening Schools
In Connecticut, Cardona encouraged schools to remain open for in-person learning, but he did not require them to do so. At his introductory speech, Cardona said schools need to address persistent inequity, even as they face this most immediate challenge. His approach fits with Biden’s plan to push for more education relief funding, and to ramp up testing and guidance to help schools mitigate the risk of spreading COVID-19 in their buildings.

How Biden’s Administration Will Approach Education
Biden has promised his approach to administration will sharply depart from DeVos, who has criticized teachers unions and traditional public schools and aggressively pushed school choice and tax-credit scholarship plans.

Some of his priorities may also depart from those of former President Barack Obama, whose administration encouraged states to change their learning standards and adopt new assessments and school improvement strategies.

Cardona’s First Priorities
If confirmed, Cardona will have a few urgent issues on his desk. Among them: How will he handle state school officials’ request for flexibility on assessments and accountability this year? And how will he help schools address concerns about interrupted learning for students, especially vulnerable groups like students with disabilities?

The Response to Biden’s Pick
As we’ve reported, education groups across the ideological spectrum expressed support for Cardona when Biden announced him last month. But that support could be tested as he tackles tough, polarizing issues like responding to the COVID-19 crisis.

Events

Jobs The EdWeek Top School Jobs Virtual Career Fair
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Mathematics Webinar
Engaging Young Students to Accelerate Math Learning
Join learning scientists and inspiring district leaders, for a timely panel discussion addressing a school district’s approach to doubling and tripling Math gains during Covid. What started as a goal to address learning gaps in
Content provided by Age of Learning & Digital Promise, Harlingen CISD
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Curriculum Webinar
How to Power Your Curriculum With Digital Books
Register for this can’t miss session looking at best practices for utilizing digital books to support their curriculum.
Content provided by OverDrive

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Federal Opinion Education Outlets Owe Readers More Than the Narratives They Want to Hear
It's vital that serious news organizations challenge runaway narratives and help readers avoid going down ideological rabbit holes.
4 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
Federal As GOP Leaves K-12 Out of Its Infrastructure Plan, Advocates Look For Alternatives
The GOP is proposing $1 trillion in federal dollars for the nation's infrastructure, but school buildings aren't part of their proposal.
6 min read
A trash can and pink kiddie pool are used to collect water that leaks from the roof into the media center at Green County High School in Snow Hill, N.C..
A trash can and pink kiddie pool are used to collect water that leaks from the roof into the media center at Green County High School in Snow Hill, N.C.
Alex Boerner for Education Week
Federal Biden Pick for Education Civil Rights Office Has History With Racial Equity, LGBTQ Issues
Biden selected Catherine Lhamon to lead the Education Department's civil rights work, a role she also held in the Obama administration.
2 min read
Flags decorate a space outside the office of the Education Secretary at the Education Department in Washington on Aug. 9, 2017.
Flags decorate a space outside the office of the Education Secretary at the Education Department in Washington on Aug. 9, 2017.
Jacquelyn Martin/AP
Federal Lawmakers Press CDC About Teachers' Union Influence on School Reopening Guidance
Republican senators asked CDC Director Rochelle Walensky about reports a teachers' union had input on guidance for schools on COVID-19.
3 min read
Dr. Rochelle Walensky speaks during an event in Wilmington, Del., to announce President-elect Joe Biden's health care team on Dec. 8, 2020.
Dr. Rochelle Walensky, CDC director, speaks during an event in Wilmington, Del., to announce then-President-elect Joe Biden's health care team on Dec. 8, 2020.
Susan Walsh/AP