Education A Washington Roundup

Ed. Dept. Shortens Math Adviser’s Job

By Sean Cavanagh — August 08, 2006 1 min read
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The Department of Education has terminated ahead of schedule the contract of W. Stephen Wilson, a scholar hired to advise the department on math issues, including the creation of the National Mathematics Advisory Panel.

Mr. Wilson had been hired by the department on a one-year contract, set to expire at the end of 2006, from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. The university had granted him leave from his position as a math professor. The university paid his $151,000 annual salary, which the department reimbursed.

In a July 1 letter to the university, Henry L. Johnson, the assistant secretary for elementary and secondary education, said it was “an honor to have someone of Mr. Wilson’s stature” at the department. But he said that the original tasks Mr. Wilson had performed in helping establish the math panel were finished, and that others could now be assumed by the 17-member panel itself. Mr. Wilson’s contract was terminated as of July 31.

“It was a worthwhile experience for me,” Mr. Wilson said in an interview last week. Department officials defied “the average image of a federal bureaucracy” and “really did keep helping children as the primary focus,” he said.

A version of this article appeared in the August 09, 2006 edition of Education Week

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