News in Brief:A Washington Roundup

September 10, 2003 1 min read

Sclafani Named to Lead Vocational Ed. Office

President Bush last week announced his intent to nominate Susan K. Sclafani as the assistant secretary for vocational and adult education in the Department of Education.

Ms. Sclafani, 58, would replace Carol D’Amico, who stepped down in June, citing a desire to spend more time with her family. Ms. Sclafani currently serves as a counselor to Secretary of Education Rod Paige on issues that include the No Child Left Behind Act. Before joining the department, she served as the chief of staff for educational services in the Houston school district when Mr. Paige was the superintendent there. Ms. Sclafani will serve as acting secretary in the vocational education post pending Senate confirmation.

The appointment comes as Congress prepares to reauthorize the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act of 1998. The Bush administration has proposed broad changes to vocational programs that would put more emphasis on preparing K-12 students for higher education and on compliance with the goals of the No Child Left Behind Act. Those proposals have drawn objections from some career and technical education advocates.

—Sean Cavanagh

Paige’s Chief of Staff Announces Departure

John M. Danielson, the chief of staff to Secretary of Education Rod Paige for the past two years, has announced his plans to resign from the Department of Education, effective Oct. 10.

“A chief of staff has many roles—gatekeeper, adviser, confidant, and friend,” Mr. Paige said in a statement last week. “John Danielson is all of those, and he’s one of the best.”

Mr. Danielson is returning to Houston but has not announced his plans, a spokesman said.

This was Mr. Danielson’s second stint at the federal agency. In 1991, he joined the the department as a special assistant to then-Secretary Lamar Alexander.

Mr. Danielson later helped found Community Education Partners, a Nashville, Tenn.-based company that partners with public schools—including in Houston, where Mr. Paige was superintendent—to offer alternative education for disruptive and low- performing students.

—Erik W. Robelen