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TESOL Statement on Nomination of Dr. Miguel Cardona for U.S. Secretary of Education

by David Cutler | 01/11/2021
TESOL International Association (TESOL) applauds the nomination of Connecticut Commissioner of Education Miguel Cardona to lead the U.S. Department of Education under the incoming Biden-Harris Administration.

A former teacher, principal, and assistant superintendent, Cardona’s first language was Spanish. His background as a bilingual speaker will be an invaluable asset to English language teachers and learners across the United States. “Dr. Cardona is a welcome choice by the Biden-Harris Administration,” said TESOL Interim Executive Director Rosa Aronson. “Representation is important. Like many of the students we serve, Dr. Cardona comes from a modest background. He grew up speaking Spanish and learned English in school. His personal and professional achievements are a testament to the resilience of our student population. His bilingualism also represents a growing trend in the United States population. Multilingualism is very relevant to the future of the United States and something to celebrate. His nomination offers hope to immigrant students, English learners, and their teachers. As a former English learner myself, I’m very optimistic and look forward to working with the next U.S. Education Secretary to ensure the success of all students, regardless of their language and socio-economic backgrounds.” Aronson concluded.

As educators and students across the United States continue to face unprecedented challenges stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, TESOL is confident that Dr. Cardona has the experience and qualifications to lead the nation’s public schools through these difficult times. Shortly before his nomination was announced, TESOL joined other English learner advocacy organizations in a memo to the incoming Biden-Harris Administration, outlining major policy recommendations. Included were suggestions to improve family engagement, strengthen the Office of English Language Acquisition and the Office of Civil Rights, expand internet connectivity and capacity for virtual learning, and improve school climate.

The association is hopeful that the next secretary reviews these recommendations and continues to work with TESOL and its allies to improve the lives of English learners and English language teachers. TESOL is ready to strengthen its ties with the U.S. Department of Education and develop a new relationship with Miguel Cardona as the next U.S. Secretary of Education.