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

January 13, 2021

The Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL) welcomes the nomination of Dr. Miguel Cardona to lead the Department of Education in the new Biden-Harris administration.

“Dr. Cardona is an excellent choice for Secretary of Education, and CAL and its stakeholders welcome his nomination by the incoming administration,” said CAL’s President/CEO Dr. Joel Gómez.

“Dr. Cardona understands that multilingualism is an asset for individual students and society as a whole. He humbly began where many students in our schools start: in kindergarten unable to speak a word of English. A product of our public education system, he has devoted his life’s work to improving education for English-language learners and closing achievement gaps between students of color and their white classmates in many different roles throughout his distinguished career: as a teacher, principal, assistant district superintendent, and a parent.

“As a former English learner, I’m very confident that Dr. Cardona will put students first in this new administration.”

Dr. Cardona has said that his guiding priority will be to “make sure that no child’s future is determined by their zip code, parents’ income, race or disability.”

“The fact is that more inclusive, culturally relevant content in classrooms leads to greater student engagement and better outcomes for all,” Cardona said in a statement.

Additionally, CAL and its network of teachers, researchers, and advocates applaud the nominee’s stated goals of tripling federal Title I funding, addressing systemic inequities, tackling the mental health crisis in our education system, giving educators a well-deserved raise, ease the burden of education debt, and secure high-quality, universal pre-K for every three- and four-year-old in the country.

CAL, which serves on the National English Learners Roundtable and the Hispanic Education Coalition, looks forward working with Dr. Cardona and the administration to provide much-needed assistance for all our learners and their families, especially English language learners, dual language learners, and recently arrived immigrants and refugees.

The Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL) is a non-profit organization founded in 1959. Headquartered in Washington DC, CAL has earned an international reputation for its contributions to the fields of bilingual and dual language education, English as a second language, world languages education, language policy, assessment, immigrant and refugee integration, literacy, dialect studies, and the education of linguistically and culturally diverse adults and children. CAL’s mission is to promote language learning and cultural understanding by serving as a trusted resource for research, services, and policy analysis. Through its work, CAL seeks solutions to issues involving language and culture as they relate to access and equity in education and society around the globe.