Miguel Cardona – Education Secretary Confirmation Hearing

The importance of community colleges and career and technical education dominated discussion of higher education topics at the confirmation hearing of Miguel Cardona, President Joe Biden’s pick for education secretary, on Wednesday.

The proceedings were the first step in approving Cardona, the chief of Connecticut’s K-12 public schools, to lead the Education Department amid a health crisis that has thrown colleges’ finances, and the safety of their students, into question.

Lawmakers appeared receptive to Cardona, with the top Democrat and Republican on the Senate’s health and education committee indicating they would swiftly move forward with his confirmation.

Cardona praised two year community colleges multiple times, even before lawmakers brought them up, calling them the country’s “best-kept secret.” He said they would be vital to helping rebuild the U.S. economy as the pandemic relents. 

A large portion of the meeting was devoted to K-12 schools. When higher education did arise, it was mostly in reference to lawmakers’ desires to ease the pathways between secondary schools and community colleges and career and technical education. 

A large portion of the meeting was devoted to K-12 schools. When higher education did arise, it was mostly in reference to lawmakers’ desires to ease the pathways between secondary schools and community colleges and career and technical education. 

Cardona was born on July 11, 1975, in Meriden, Connecticut, to Puerto Rican parents. Cardona grew up speaking Spanish as his first language and struggled to learn English when starting kindergarten. 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.

 

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