So the Associated Press is reporting that former American Federation of Teachers President Edward J. McElroy is a possibility for U.S. secretary of labor. McElroy has a long history with the AFL-CIO and, apparently, his heart is more on the labor union side of things than on the education side. Over at AFT, he served as a kind of a placeholder president for the current head, Randi Weingarten, who took the helm this year. Still, having someone with experience at one of the two national teachers' unions as head of the Department of Labor couldn't be bad for the ...


President-elect Obama has named Melody Barnes, the former general counsel to Sen. Ted Kennedy and the policy guru at the Center for American Progress, as the director of the White House Domestic Policy Council. Her top priority will be health care, but she'll also work on education issues, according to the CAP's Think Progress blog. Barnes, of Portfolio-gate fame, is taking a key domestic policy position in the White House that will undoubtedly help shape Obama's education proposals. After all, current Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings started out serving in a similar role for President Bush, as his domestic policy ...


So over at Flypaper, Mike Petrilli is placing his Ed Sec bets on former presidential candidate and New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson. I seriously doubt it, for one reason: No one in the primary campaigned harder against NCLB than Richardson. He made it clear that he wanted to completely scrap the law and went after then-front runner Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York for saying she just wanted to "fix" it. Since President-elect Obama is of the mend-it-don't-end-it mind set, I'm guessing his education secretary pick would likely be, too. Richardson also wanted to set a minimum wage for ...


Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano, a Democrat who is an ardent advocate of K-12 and higher education—and their link to the broader economy and jobs—appears headed to a cabinet post with the Department of Homeland Security. This seems to put to rest any education secretary speculation. This would leave Arizona firmly in the GOP's hands because the state's Republican Secretary of State, Jan Brewer, is next in line for the governor's office. Republicans control the legislature. From an education perspective, this is a loss for Arizona, for the governors' ranks, and for national education reform efforts. She was a ...


The Obama transition finally confirmed the obvious: Linda Darling-Hammond is their key point person on education. In a press release just sent out, the Obama team announced that Darling-Hammond (who just three days ago told me she was "just an adviser") is the Policy Working Group Leader for education. View the complete list of working groups here. Unlike some other working groups, which are being led by a duo or trio of people, Darling-Hammond will be flying solo. She's also among some pretty elite people, including former Senate Democratic leader Tom Daschle (who is leading the health care group) and ...


With financial markets melting down and the auto industry seeking a bailout, the assumption is that federal education funding might feel the squeeze in coming years. But President-elect Barack Obama may surprise people and find room in the federal budget for the $30 billion a year it will take to make his education agenda a reality, one of his campaign's education advisers said Tuesday. "He has talked about education as an investment in a very serious way" and he sees his education proposals as ways "to grow the economy," Linda Darling-Hammond told the National Academy of Education at an event ...


It looks like health care, which got a lot more attention during the presidential campaign than education, is going to take precedence over K-12 school legislation, at least in the Senate, when Congress comes back in January. Michael Myers, a top aide to Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., the chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, told Families USA, a health care advocacy group, that health legislation will be Kennedy's "first, second, and third priority" in the new Congress. That would mean that the reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act, and other education bills, are, ...


From guest blogger David J. Hoff: Russo and Petrilli have beat us to the punch on Democrats for Education Reform's slate to take over the U.S. Department of Education. Chicago schools CEO Arne Duncan, their pick for secretary of education, isn't surprising. His name surfaced as far back as June—thanks to eduwonk. But the reason DFER is pushing for Duncan is interesting. Here's an excerpt from the memo: In his seven years at the head of the nation’s 3rd largest school district, Chicago Public Schools has demonstrated sustained improvements in student achievement, graduation rates, and college-going rates....


When U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings addressed the Council of Chief State School Officers on Friday, she joked that she “brought the keys to the department in case there [could] be a pass off right now.” She was alluding to the myriad of names being bandied about for job of education secretary, although I haven’t heard any current education chiefs as leading contenders. Spellings helped kick off the first day of the conference in Austin, Texas, and President-elect Barack Obama’s ed transition pooh-bah (I’m not sure what her official title is) Linda Darling-Hammond ended it. ...


Actually, a couple groups have already beaten you to it. One group of petitioners is trying to get Sen. Barack Obama to appoint Linda Darling-Hammond, a Stanford education professor and one of Obama's campaign advisers as secretary of education. The group says it seeks "a truly progressive public education system" and "that Dr. Darling-Hammond is a key ingredient to achieving such a system." Darling-Hammond has done extensive research on leadership and teacher professional development. She is a champion of teacher residency programs, which allow prospective educators to get beefed-up field experiences while earning teacher certification or a master's degree. So ...


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