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Biden selects Connecticut schools chief as education secretary

PBS NewsHour |

In the announcement of his nomination, shared first with the Associated Press, Biden said that Miguel Cardona, Connecticut’s education chief, would offer America “an experienced and dedicated public school teacher leading the way at the Department of Education.”

The selection delivers on Biden’s promise to nominate someone with experience working in public education and would fulfill his goal of installing an education chief who stands in sharp contrast to Secretary Betsy DeVos.

Unlike DeVos, a school choice advocate whom Biden says is an opponent of public schools, Cardona is a product of them, starting when he entered kindergarten unable to speak English.

The likely nomination has been met with praise from groups that represent Latinos and English language learners.

Cardona would bring further diversity to Biden’s cabinet, which is also poised to include Xavier Becerra, California’s first Latino attorney general, as secretary of health and human services. Cisneros, who himself began elementary school in Arizona as an English language learner, said that diversity is critical to Biden’s success.

Miguel Cardona was named Connecticut’s top schools official last year moving from an assistant superintendent to secretary of education in two years.

The Meriden, Connecticut, native took the top job overseeing the state’s K-12 schools last summer after being nominated by Gov. Ned Lamont. Before that, he was a teacher, principal and administrator in Meriden’s public schools. Biden said previously he wanted an educator in the post.

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