Dr. Miguel A. Cardona vowed to “boldly address educational inequities head-on” if confirmed as U.S. education secretary, he said Feb. 3 during his Senate confirmation hearing.

“Our nation’s educational challenges didn’t begin with the pandemic, but it has exacerbated inequities in our educational system,” Cardona said. “And so it’s our responsibility, and it would be my greatest privilege if confirmed, to forge opportunity out of this crisis.”

He also talked about working to reopen schools safely and making sure “our education system is a door to opportunity, a great equalizer for every student.” Cardona referred to community colleges as America’s “best-kept secret,” and he ensured that teachers and higher-education faculty, among others, would be “recognized for their great contribution to this country.”

“We will remove silos in education, sharing our breakthroughs and successes throughout our country and cultivating schools and colleges as places of innovation,” he added.

Cardona also fielded questions from senators. CBS News’ Kate Smith has more.

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