Nina Rees, president and CEO of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, issued the following statement in response to the nomination of Miguel Cardona as Secretary of Education:
“The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools congratulates Miguel Cardona on his historic nomination for U.S. Secretary of Education, serving under President-elect Joe Biden. As the new Secretary of Education, he will assume office at one of the most turbulent times in recent history.
While our nation continues to battle the COVID-19 pandemic, both K-12 and postsecondary education systems are grappling with issues such as the safe reopening of schools, looming budget shortfalls, learning loss, crippling student debt and boiling racial tensions. At this time especially, we need a Secretary of Education who will unify the country and model collaborative leadership.
In his most recent role as Connecticut’s Commissioner of Education, Cardona showed a commitment to equity, accountability, and high standards. We are hopeful he will continue to embrace these ideals as Secretary. Further, we call upon him to place students and families first and to be agnostic about PreK-12 instructional delivery and governance models, so long as they are effective and meet the needs of all students. The Secretary must be committed to supporting the entire public-school ecosystem—both district and charter.
Parents want more and better options, and they need a Secretary of Education who will fight for them. A record number of parents enrolled their students in charter schools this year; it would be devastating to move us backward by harming their educational options. These innovative public schools particularly appeal to parents who are concerned about whether their children’s needs will be met during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.
We look forward to working with Secretary Cardona and his team to ensure the voices of parents are heard, and every student has access to a high-quality public education. Black and Latino parents overwhelmingly support charter schools, and we expect Cardona’s commitment to educational equity will include protecting their ability to access these schools. Charter schools are an important part of the public education ecosystem, serving nearly 3.3 million students. Further, nearly five million more students would attend a charter school if one were available to them. Charter schools offer a combination of flexibility, tailored instruction, social-emotional support, and rigorous coursework that make our overall public education system stronger.”