Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona is not known for speaking out forcefully. But in an interview with Politico, he denounced the attacks on public schools and the blatant politicization of local issues. Politico titled the article: “Biden’s Education secretary is done sitting ‘idly’ amid schools fight.” No more sitting idly!

To be clear, Cardona has been missing in action as public schools are under attack by vitriolic privatizers. School boards have been under attack. Teachers have been under attack. The rights of students to learn accurate history have been under attack.

And Cardona has been silent. Why?

He has a voice. Why doesn’t he use it?

CARDONA SPEAKS — President Joe Biden’s education secretary is stepping up his rhetoric against school-centered partisanship, as nearly 30,000 school board seats are on the ballot this year and White House allies plan a counteroffensive to conservative political momentum.

— “When we talk about politicization, when we talk about book banning, when we talk about Black history curriculum being picked apart — I think there are deliberate attempts to make sure that our public schools are not functional so that the private option sounds better,” Miguel Cardona told POLITICO.

— “It just seems like it’s a constant attackon what I know as a dad, and what I know as an educator, is happening in our schools.” Cardona said. “Education being used to divide communities is the challenge that we face now as leaders.”

Cardona’s newly public exasperation with the conservative political furoraround education comes as the Republican-controlled House approved sweeping “Parents Bill of Rights” legislation and a growing wave of school choice expansion laws takes hold in Republican-led states, including a measure now primed for the signature of Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

— “There are efforts to take dollars, the limited dollars that exist for public education, and provide vouchers to private institutions — weakening the local public school,” Cardona said of recent school choice expansion initiatives.

— “I’m not against choice, I went to a technical high school that wasn’t my local neighborhood high school. … But I don’t want privatization at the expense of the local school. The neighborhood school should be fully funded; it should have great resources so that students who go there have a top-tier education.”

For Cardona, this is as close to a forceful statement as we are likely to see. Even more forceful would be a flat-out expose of vouchers as a cruel hoax that helps no one but the rich families who are getting a rebate on their private school tuition.