He was chosen in part based on his track record in pushing Connecticut schools to reopen for in-person learning. In his confirmation hearing before the Senate education panel, he said he approached the job with a spirit of cooperation.

We were open and transparent with what we knew, and we made sure that we partnered with our health experts to put out very clear guidance early on to make sure that the mitigation strategies were very clear,” he said. “I look forward to, if I’m fortunate enough to serve as secretary of education, to bring that same mentality of partnership and clear communication to help recover our public education and reopen our schools.