Familiar Faces To Mark Second-Term Team

By David J. Hoff — January 15, 1997 2 min read


President Clinton’s education team will have familiar faces and most of them will be in familiar places when his second term officially begins next week.

Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley will stay in the job he’s held since 1993, and almost all of his high-level staff will stay on board with him.

Mr. Riley, who earned high marks from education groups and members of Congress over the past four years, hopes to put to rest the debate over whether his department should remain a Cabinet post.

“The American people sent a very clear message that they want those of us in Washington to focus in on positive and concrete solutions,” Mr. Riley said on Dec. 20 when the president announced the secretary would stay for the second term. “In that spirit, I sincerely hope that the Congress will move beyond the issue of whether or not the Department of Education should exist or not exist.”

One major addition to Mr. Riley’s team will be Carol Rasco. Ms. Rasco will move from the White House, where she was Mr. Clinton’s top domestic-policy adviser, to lead the president’s effort to recruit 1 million tutors to help children improve their reading.

Bruce Reed, an assistant to Mr. Clinton for policy and planning during the first term, will take Ms. Rasco’s current job at the White House.

Michael Cohen, who advised Mr. Riley at the department of education for 3 years, will continue as the president’s education adviser at the White House--a role he assumed before Mr. Clinton’s re-election campaign last year.

Mr. Riley’s team at the department has had only one high-level resignation since the November election.

Sharon Robinson, the assistant secretary in charge of research, left to become of a vice president at the Educational Testing Service, the nonprofit company that administers the SAT and runs the National Assessment of Educational Progress for the department. (“Top Test Administrator Switching Sides, Joining ETS,” Dec. 4, 1996.)

New Financial Officer

Otherwise, familiar faces will dominate the department’s leadership.

Marshall S. Smith will continue as the undersecretary and will also will carry the title of acting deputy secretary, which he assumed last summer.

Gerald Tirozzi will continue as the assistant secretary for elementary and secondary education, and Judith Heumann will stay in her job as the assistant secretary overseeing special education.

One addition to the department will be Donald Rappaport, whom Mr. Clinton last week nominated to be the agency’s chief financial officer.

Mr. Rappaport is a partner in the Price Waterhouse accounting firm and a former chairman of the Pennsylvania state school board. The top financial job at the department has been vacant since Donald Wurtz retired last year.

Mr. Rappaport and whoever replaces Ms. Robinson must be confirmed by the Senate.

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