AAUW Statement on Choice for Education Secretary

AAUW CEO Kim Churches issued this statement on President-elect Biden’s selection for Secretary of Education:

AAUW applauds President-elect Joseph Biden’s nomination of the Connecticut Commissioner of Education Miguel Cardona as his Secretary of Education. In choosing Cardona, who worked for two decades as a public-school teacher and principal, President-elect Biden is fulfilling his pledge to make public school experience a top qualification for this Cabinet-level position. One of the highlights of Cardona’s tenure in Connecticut was his work at closing the achievement gap among Black, Latino and low-income students and their white and wealthier counterparts — a goal AAUW strongly supports.

Cardona’s priorities stand in sharp contrast to those of Betsy DeVos, President Trump’s education secretary, who focused, unsuccessfully, on expanding “school choice”—which could have substantially weakened the nation’s public schools. Her most notable act was rolling back Obama-era guidance and rules aimed at protecting the rights of sexual assault survivors through Title IX. President-elect Biden has vowed to overturn that rollback and strengthen Title IX, and AAUW looks forward to working with Secretary Cardona to achieve that.

In our almost 140-year history, AAUW has always fought for equity in education and for ensuring that publicly funded schools uphold civil rights laws and protections. We are committed to pushing for strong enforcement of Title IX and policies that will extend equity protections. Above all, AAUW is confident that, with the confirmation of Cardona, we will have an education secretary who is committed to putting the needs of all students first – as well as a fair-minded approach to helping our education system recover from the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.