Statement of Raymond C. Pierce, President of Southern Education Foundation, on the Nomination of Miguel Cardona to Serve as U.S. Secretary of Education

Education Equity Leader Praises Biden Choice to Lead Department of Education

Southern Education Foundation President Calls Cardona “Strong Public School System Leader and Equity Advocate”

December 23, 2020 (Atlanta, Georgia) — The Southern Education Foundation released the following statement from its President and CEO regarding President-elect Joe Biden’s nomination of Dr. Miguel Cardona today:

As a former public school teacher and principal, and as the Commissioner of Education in Connecticut, Miguel Cardona has a deep and impressive understanding of the importance of and the challenges facing public education.

The COVID-19 pandemic has wrought havoc with public school education, highlighting fissures, gaps, and inequities that must be repaired. Now, more than ever, we need an education leader with the experience, expertise, understanding, and skill to undertake the cohesive, comprehensive reset our public education system desperately needs to ensure all students access to high-quality education.

Not only does Dr. Cardona have a proven track record of leadership and success, he understands the inequities faced by Black and Brown students and students from low-income families, and what must be done to eradicate them. As co-chair of the Connecticut Legislative Achievement Gap Task Force in 2014, he wrote, “In order to address the conditions that perpetuate underachievement, we must confront poverty and systemic barriers while constantly improving upon our practices in all state agencies.” We agree.

The Southern Education Foundation is pleased that President-elect Biden has chosen to nominate a strong public school system leader and equity advocate who will ensure the U.S. Department of Education’s work once again focuses on advancing high-quality, equitable public education.


Originally founded in 1867 to educate Black children and children from low-income families in the South, the Southern Education Foundation was a pivotal source of research and data to support legislation and litigation aimed at fighting inequity in education during the civil rights era. The organization today conducts leadership development, research, and advocacy to improve educational opportunities for low-income students and students of color and achieve educational equity in the Southern U.S. It is based in Atlanta, Georgia. Find out more at