Education reformers breathed a sigh of relief when it became clear that President-elect Joe Biden wouldn’t tap a teachers-union leader as his secretary of education, contrary to the post-election rumor mill. Instead, Biden nominated Connecticut Education Commissioner Miguel Cardona.
Compared to teachers-union leaders, Cardona appears moderate. But Biden’s Department of Education transition team looks as though it came straight off the field of a National Education Association versus American Federation of Teachers softball game. It seems all but certain that on education, Biden will govern to the left of his ex-boss, President Barack Obama.
During the campaign, Biden railed against President Trump’s policies on everything from charter schools to Title IX reform. When Biden sat down with former NEA President Lily Eskelsen García, she told him, “You know how we feel about charter schools.” Biden replied, “Same way I feel.”
School choice is a state issue. But the Obama Department of Justice filed suit against Louisiana’s voucher program on the empirically dubious grounds that it violated federal desegregation orders. It’s reasonable to expect Team Biden will seek similar justifications to harass state-level school-choice programs.
Max Eden is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and author of the recent report, Florida’s Hope Scholarships for Bullied Students: A Report Card. Follow him on Twitter here.
This piece was adapted from City Journal
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