Miguel Cardona

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Miguel Cardona
Secretary Miguel A. Cardona (cropped).jpg
12th United States Secretary of Education
Assumed office
March 2, 2021
PresidentJoe Biden
DeputyDenise L. Carter (acting)
Cindy Marten (nominee)
Preceded byBetsy DeVos
Education Commissioner of Connecticut
In office
August 8, 2019 – March 1, 2021
GovernorNed Lamont
Preceded byDianna Wentzell
Succeeded byCharlene Russell-Tucker (acting)
Personal details
Born
Miguel Angel Cardona

(1975-07-11) July 11, 1975 (age 45)
Meriden, Connecticut, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)
Marissa Pérez
(m. 2002)
Children2
EducationCentral Connecticut State University (BS)
University of Connecticut (MS, SYC, EdD)

Miguel Angel Cardona (born July 11, 1975) is an American educator serving as the 12th United States Secretary of Education under President Joe Biden since 2021. A member of the Democratic Party, he was confirmed by the U.S. Senate by a vote of 64–33 on March 1, 2021.[1] Prior to this, Cardona served as Connecticut Commissioner of Education from 2019 to 2021.

A native of Meriden, Connecticut, Cardona began his career as a fourth-grade teacher at Israel Putnam Elementary School in Meriden. In 2003, at the age of 27, he was named principal of Hanover School, also in Meriden, making him the youngest principal in the state.[2][3]

Early life and education[edit]

Cardona was born on July 11, 1975, in Meriden, Connecticut, to Puerto Rican parents.[4][5] Cardona grew up speaking Spanish as his first language and struggled to learn English when starting kindergarten.[6] He was raised in a housing project in Meriden and graduated from the H.C. Wilcox Technical High School, where he was a part of the automotive studies program.[7][8][9] Cardona earned a Bachelor of Science degree in education from Central Connecticut State University in 1997. He obtained a Master of Science in bilingual and bicultural education at University of Connecticut (UConn) in 2001. In 2004, he completed a professional sixth year certification at UConn where he earned a Doctor of Education in 2011.[10][11] Cardona's dissertation entitled, Sharpening the Focus of Political Will to Address Achievement Disparities, studied the gaps between English-language learners and their classmates.[11][6] Cardona's doctoral major advisor was Barry G. Sheckley and his associate advisor was Casey D. Cobb.[11]

Career[edit]

Cardona began his career as a fourth-grade teacher of Israel Putnam Elementary School in Meriden, Connecticut. In 2003, at Hanover Elementary School, he was promoted and made the youngest principal in the state's history for ten years. From 2015 to 2019, Cardona served as Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning in his home town.[12][13] Cardona was also an adjunct professor of education in the University of Connecticut's Department of Educational Leadership.[14] During his career, he has focused on closing gaps between English-language learners and their peers.[6]

In August 2019, Governor Ned Lamont appointed Cardona as Commissioner of Education; Cardona is the first Latino to be appointed to the position.[10][15]

Secretary of Education[edit]

In December 2020, Cardona emerged as a candidate for United States Secretary of Education in Joe Biden's cabinet. Biden began to lean toward Cardona over two other "high-profile" teachers' union leaders, Lily Eskelsen García and Randi Weingarten. By seemingly choosing Cardona over these two, Biden "appears to have sidestepped any sibling rivalry between the NEA and AFT".[16]

Biden later announced his intention to nominate Cardona as Secretary of Education.[17]

Cardona was brought to the attention of Biden by Linda Darling-Hammond, the leader of the transition's efforts, which she also did for Barack Obama in 2008. Darling-Hammond and Cardona have worked together on multiple projects.[18] Politico noted that "Hispanic lawmakers are stressing in particular the need for a Latina to join the administration."[19]

He appeared before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions on February 3, 2021.[20] On February 25, his nomination was advanced by the Senate on a cloture vote of 66–32.[21] Cardona was confirmed on March 1, 2021 by a 64–33 vote. Cardona took his oath of office on March 1, 2021 and was ceremonially sworn in by Vice President Kamala Harris on March 2, 2021.[22]

Personal life[edit]

In 2002, Cardona married Marissa Pérez, a family-school liaison and former Miss Connecticut (2001).[23][24] They have two children.[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "On the Nomination (Confirmation: Miguel A. Cardona, of Connecticut, to be Secretary of Education)". U.S. Senate. March 1, 2021. Retrieved March 1, 2021.
  2. ^ Makwana, Rachel R. (May 22, 2003). "New principal is popular pick". Record-Journal. pp. 1, 4. Retrieved December 16, 2020 – via Newspapers.com. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ Megan, Kathleen (August 21, 2019). "The state's new education commissioner: collaborator, listener, hard worker". The Connecticut Mirror. Retrieved December 16, 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ "Biden To Pick Connecticut Schools Chief Miguel Cardona As Education Secretary". NPR.org. Retrieved December 22, 2020.
  5. ^ "Registered Voters in the State of Connecticut, U.S.A." connvoters.com. Retrieved December 22, 2020.
  6. ^ a b c Binkley, Collin; Jaffe, Alexandra; Lemire, Jonathan (December 22, 2020). "Biden picks Connecticut schools chief as education secretary". Associated Press. Retrieved December 22, 2020.
  7. ^ "Biden selects CT's Miguel Cardona to lead the U.S. Department of Education". The CT Mirror. December 22, 2020. Retrieved December 22, 2020.
  8. ^ "About CSDE--Commissioner". CT.gov - Connecticut's Official State Website. Retrieved December 22, 2020.
  9. ^ "Connecticut's Miguel Cardona in the mix for Biden's education secretary". The CT Mirror. December 17, 2020. Retrieved December 21, 2020.
  10. ^ a b c "About CSDE--Commissioner". CT.gov - Connecticut's Official State Website. Retrieved December 21, 2020.
  11. ^ a b c Cardona, Miguel Angel (2011). Sharpening the focus of political will to address achievement disparities. University of Connecticut. OCLC 1196370756.
  12. ^ "Miguel A. Cardona". www.ct.edu. Retrieved December 21, 2020.
  13. ^ "Two outsiders emerge as top contenders for Biden's education secretary (Meckler, Strauss)".
  14. ^ "Biden to pick Connecticut education commissioner for top schools post". POLITICO. Retrieved December 22, 2020.
  15. ^ "Connecticut's Miguel Cardona in the mix for Biden's education secretary". The CT Mirror. December 17, 2020. Retrieved December 21, 2020.
  16. ^ Nichols, Hans. "Biden leaning toward Miguel Cardona for education secretary". Axios. Retrieved December 21, 2020.
  17. ^ "DOMESTIC NOMINEES AND APPOINTEES". Biden-Harris transition. Retrieved December 23, 2020.
  18. ^ "Connecticut's Miguel Cardona in the mix for Biden's education secretary". The CT Mirror. December 17, 2020. Retrieved December 21, 2020.
  19. ^ Barrón-López, Laura. "Hispanic Caucus presses Biden to appoint Latinos to lead Education, Small Business". POLITICO. Retrieved December 21, 2020.
  20. ^ "Committee hearing for Meriden resident Miguel Cardona's nomination as U.S. Secretary of Education set for Wednesday". myrecordjournal.com. January 29, 2021. Retrieved February 2, 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  21. ^ Manu Raju (February 25, 2021). "Senate Democrats break GOP filibuster to advance Miguel Cardona's nomination to run the Education Department". Twitter. Retrieved February 25, 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  22. ^ "Miguel Cardona to be sworn in as U.S. Secretary of Education". EdSource. March 2, 2021. Retrieved March 2, 2021.
  23. ^ "Perez–Cardona". Record-Journal. May 19, 2002. p. 17. Retrieved December 22, 2020 – via Newspapers.com. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  24. ^ Alverio, Diane (July 2, 2015). "Meriden's Dr. Miguel Cardona: From Student To Administrator". CT Latino News. Retrieved December 22, 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Dianna Wentzell
Education Commissioner of Connecticut
2019–2021
Succeeded by
Charlene Russell-Tucker
Acting
Preceded by
Betsy DeVos
United States Secretary of Education
2021–present
Incumbent
U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Jennifer Granholm
as Secretary of Energy
Order of precedence of the United States
as Secretary of Education
Succeeded by
Denis McDonough
as Secretary of Veterans Affairs
U.S. presidential line of succession
Preceded by
Jennifer Granholm
Ineligible

as Secretary of Energy
16th in line
as Secretary of Education
Succeeded by
Denis McDonough
as Secretary of Veterans Affairs