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US: Latino Chief of Connecticut Schools To Become Biden’s Education Secretary

The United States President-elect Joe Biden, is expected to nominate Miguel A. Cardona, Connecticut’s education commissioner, to serve as his education secretary, tapping a Latino to be the nation’s highest education policymaker, according to two officials familiar with Biden’s plans.

Dr. Cardona, if confirmed by the Senate, would be tasked with bringing the elementary, secondary and higher education systems back from the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic and repairing the considerable damage done.

The pandemic has also widened the achievement gap between affluent students and poorer pupils who fell behind as they suffered through deficient internet access and difficult home-learning conditions.

The selection of Dr. Cardona would fulfill Biden’s campaign promise to appoint a diverse cabinet. The official announcement is expected as soon as Tuesday.

Dr. Cardona was appointed Connecticut’s first Latino commissioner of education in 2019 after two decades of experience as a public school educator, starting in a Meriden, Conn., elementary school classroom, according to his official biography. He also served as a principal for a decade, among the youngest in the state, and as assistant superintendent and adjunct professor at the University of Connecticut.

In interviews, Dr. Cardona has emphasized his parents’ Puerto Rican roots and his upbringing in Meriden’s public housing and education system as experiences that have anchored his career.

In the letter, Hispanic caucus promoted his experience as an educator who has worked at every level of a public school system and his background as “Spanish-only speaking student when he first started school,” who understands the plight of English language learners, among those most at-risk groups for learning loss during the pandemic.

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