Miguel Cardona, Connecticut’s education commissioner, is on a short list of candidates to become education secretary in the Biden administration. Politico reported Saturday that the Congressional Hispanic Caucus has given its “enthusiastic endorsement” to Cardona in a letter to the President-elect.

As The Mirror’s Jacqueline Rabe Thomas reported today, if he got the job, Cardona would be in charge of getting the majority of the nation’s students back into schools – something Biden has promised in his first 100 days.

It’s an effort Cardona was focused on in Connecticut this year, with mixed results. The state saw a shutdown of schools in the spring, followed by a reopening that left many students, parents and teachers confused. Each district devising its own plan to reopen in-person classes or provide virtual or “blended” learning.

I talked to Cardona twice this year on the podcast, and as he’s considered for this important national job, we wanted to look back at what he said to us about Connecticut schools, and what it might signal if he’s tapped to go to Washington.

In early August, right in the middle of the pandemic, he made the case that COVID showed how important getting back to school is, especially for children in struggling districts.


John is CT Mirror's Director of Events. A well-known and highly-regarded radio personality and moderator, he divides his time between CT Mirror — where he heads up our events program and serves as a multi-platform consultant — and the NPR / PRI program Science Friday. Previously, John was executive editor of the New England News Collaborative and the host of NEXT, a weekly program about New England. He also appeared weekly on The Wheelhouse, WNPR’s news roundtable program. His 25 years in public media also include serving as vice president of news for Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network, host of WNPR’s Where We Live, and regular fill-in host for the PRI program Science Friday in New York. He was twice recognized by PRNDI as America’s best public radio call-in show.