Today we celebrate and uplift two historic appointments: Miguel Cardona who will serve as Secretary of Education in the Biden-Harris Administration, and Alex Padilla, California’s next United States Senator.
As former English learners and products of our public education system, they both bring a personal level of understanding about the inequities facing our students of color and the achievement gaps that exist between them and their white peers.
Padilla, who as Secretary of State mandated multilingual ballots, understands the importance of biliteracy and has always been supportive of legislation that improves outcomes for English learners.
In a press conference held this morning, Cardona stated “I, being bilingual and bicultural, am as American as apple pie and rice and beans. For me education was the great equalizer, but for too many students, your zip code and your skin color remain the best predictor of the opportunities you’ll have in your lifetime.”
During this pandemic which has only underscored the disparities that exist among our English learner communities, it is reassuring to have leadership both on a Federal and State level who not only reflect and represent our English learners, but who are also uniquely equipped to address the challenges they face in hopes of creating a more equitable education system.
“It’s our responsibility, it’s our privilege to take this moment and to do the most American thing imaginable—to forge opportunity out of crisis, to draw on our resolve, our ingenuity and tireless optimism as a people,” said Cardona.
We look forward to working together to build the education system our students need and deserve.