Reasons for Optimism: A Good Nomination and Appointment

Good morning, CharterFolk.

I don’t have a lot to add to what many others have been sharing regarding the nomination of Miguel Cardonas for the US Secretary of Education post. CharterFolk in Connecticut report that Cardonas is someone we can work with. In comparison to virtually all other names that were surfaced in recent weeks, he is a much better option. Perhaps most importantly, he signals an intent from the administration that it prefers to focus effort on issues where we can work together rather than on ones that would have torn the ed world apart. So we should feel a sense of relief. Many thanks to many CharterFolk who worked to help bring this outcome about.

The second piece of big news yesterday was the announcement of Alex Padilla to become California’s next US Senator. I am very pleased by this result. Although he has gone quieter in his support of charter schools in the last two years, Alex has consistently been a friend of charter schools throughout his political career. He often voted with other moderate Democrats in support of charter schools in the California State Senate. He also has extensive personal connections to charter schools in the San Fernando Valley. Finally, his family’s story is one that is deeply connected to the importance of high quality public education, and I have always found him to be one who understands how charter schools are needed to help constructively push all of public education to improve, especially for students coming from communities that have been historically underserved. While I would not expect Alex to seek an active, highly visible role related to charter school matters in the US Senate, I would be surprised if he does not turn out to be a source of reliable support for charter schools generally.

So for both the nomination and the appointment, we have had far, far better results than we might otherwise have had. It’s an encouraging way to wrap up the advocacy year for charter schools.

Stay safe, folks.