Quality Leadership Matters Blog


UCEA Statement on the Confirmation of Dr. Miguel Cardona as Secretary of Education

March 3rd, 2021 by


East Lansing, MI—On behalf of our over 100 member institutions, the University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA) congratulates Dr. Miguel Cardona on his confirmation and swearing in as U.S. Secretary of Education. As an organization committed to the advancement of educational leadership preparation, research, and policy, we are excited about the depth and breadth of educational experience that Dr. Cardona brings as he begins the process of leading the nation’s schools. We share his goal of creating equitable and just schools for all our children and communities and are ready to work with him and the USDOE.

As the son of Puerto Rican parents who spoke Spanish at home, Cardona learned English in his public school classrooms—a foundational experience that has informed his work as an educator and researcher throughout his career. He went on to graduate from two public universities, become a fourth grade teacher, and serve as the youngest principal in Connecticut history. His family reflects this commitment to public education as well, with his wife Marissa serving as a family-school liaison and his two children attending public schools. Cardona has taught at the University of Connecticut (a UCEA member institution) and was appointed Connecticut’s Commissioner of Education in 2019, becoming the first Latinx person to serve in that role. 

Dr. Cardona is widely known for his deep, decades-long commitment to public education and equitable educational opportunities for all students. His focus on the expansion of high-quality educational leadership and research demonstrates his ability to understand and tackle some of the most pressing challenges for today’s educational leaders across the PK-20 spectrum.

“It is with a sense of real hope that I congratulate Dr. Cardona as our new Secretary of Education,” said Mónica Byrne-Jiménez, UCEA Executive Director. “We are prepared to offer our expertise in any way we can to help schools, educational leaders, and higher education emerge from the dual crises of this pandemic and of racial injustices across our educational system. I say with a full heart, bienvenido y adelante, Dr. Cardona.”

About UCEA

The University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA) is a nonprofit consortium of over one hundred research universities focused on the preparation of educational leaders. UCEA activities annually impact the practice of over 1,000 professors, 4,000 school leaders, and countless teachers and students. These include cross-institutional research projects on leader effectiveness, leadership preparation, and education policy; articulation of new directions for research and training; policy work; and development and testing of innovative educational leadership programs, leader evaluation protocols, and professional development models. UCEA supports networks for new ideas in educational leadership through annual meetings, three peer-reviewed academic journals, six program centers, and over a dozen partnerships with policy boards, grantmaking organizations, and other professional institutions.

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