NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - President-Elect Joe Biden is expected to announce Dr. Miguel Cordona as his Education Secretary, and his influence in the Midstate might be more significant than you think.
Cardona is a career educator who is currently education commissioner in Connecticut.
Dr. Wayne Lewis, Dean and Professor of Education at Belmont, described Cardona as being pretty moderate.
“Which signals to me that he’s trying to not play to extremes, but potentially pick someone who could mediate,” said Lewis.
Lewis said Cardona is fairly neutral on charter schools, and when it comes to in-person versus virtual learning, he’s been in favor of letting individual districts decide.
“He has recognized and has been vocal that there is a lot lost for kid when they are not able to be in the school building, so he has advocated in Connecticut for local school districts, if possible, to keep schools open for kids, and only to close if the local health conditions dictate that needs to happen,” said Lewis.
Lewis said he thinks Cardona will have a big impact on testing as well.
“My guess is that he would say, ‘let’s test because we need the data, but the type of ranking or rating of schools is probably not appropriate right now,’” said Lewis.
As for how much impact Cardona will have on local students and teachers, Lewis said “a lot.”
“He’ll have influence with the legislature, with Congress, with the President. He’ll also have significant influence over funding decisions, so this is absolutely not a figure-head position,” said Lewis. “This is someone who has significant influence on education policy.”
Cardona seems to have support from local teachers’ unions.
“Dr. Cardona comes to the role with immense school experience and will bring a fresh perspective to the position,” said Katie Cour, President and CEO of NPEF.