In a 2019 interview, Cardona cited his own experience as a child who arrived in kindergarten having spoken only Spanish at home. He also opposed tying teacher performance evaluations to test scores, saying “Not reducing a teacher to a test score and bringing the voices of teachers and leaders into the process of professional leaning. Those are the two things I really felt like I had to champion.”
Connecticut’s education unions released a statement saying Cardona’s “formative experience as a teacher and administrator has been critical to his accomplishments as Connecticut Education Commissioner. He has been tested by the unprecedented upheaval caused by the pandemic. While this challenge has been a rocky road—and many issues remain unresolved—teachers and school support staff have appreciated his openness and collaboration. If selected as Secretary of Education, Dr. Cardona would be a positive force for public education—light years ahead of the dismal Betsy DeVos track record.”
If confirmed, Cardona will face two huge challenges in the pandemic and in undoing the damage DeVos inflicted on U.S. public education policy over the past four years.