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More on Miller the Money Man

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So now Eduland has had almost more than 12 whole hours to digest the news that Tony Miller will be deputy education secretary. So far, it sounds like some folks are glad the department is bringing in someone with a background in management.

"With the added responsibilities that come with all this stimulus funding, we're pleased to see the secretary bring in someone to ensure that the department engine doesn't just run, but that it runs efficiently," said Amy Wilkins, a lobbyist for the Education Trust, an organization in Washington that advocates for low-income and minority kids.

Over at This Week in Education, Alexander Russo wins the Headline of the Day award by asking the question on lots of people's minds.

And you can expect Flypaper’s Mike Petrilli to place the Miller appointment close to neutral on his trademark Reform-O-Meter. He tells Politics K-12 that having a standard COO-type as the No. 2 means the real power center on policy will rest somewhere else—maybe with the chief of staff, or the assistant secretary for elementary and secondary education, or some other person.

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If he's a great manager, that's great. I wouldn't know, and unlike some "reformers" I don't have strong opinions on things I don't know. If the Amy Wilkins' and the MCKinsey consultants of the world had stuck to management reform and the parts of educational politics that they know, we'd have all benefitted.

Recall the Ed Week story a few weeks back about accountability in central offices. In order to get honest data, they kept the names of the school systems confidential. Had we followed the same solid methodology of data-informed decision-making vs. data-driven accountability, we would have had so much needless waste and conflict and unintended consequences due to NCLB.

Miller doesn't work for a consulting company anymore. He now works for the American people under the leadership of President Obama. Hopefully his talents will be used well.

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