Team Named To Study E.D. for Transition

By Julie A. Miller — December 16, 1992 2 min read

WASHINGTON--Johnnetta B. Cole, the president of Spelman College, last week began assembling the team that will assist her in studying the Education Department for President-elect Bill Clinton’s transition effort.

“We’re to take a snapshot of the agency, identify key issues, pending legislation, personnel structures,’' said Mary Ann Schmidt, a Democratic National Committee aide who will oversee the project in the Education Department for a multi-agency “cluster group’’ headed by Ms. Cole. (See Education Week, Dec. 9, 1992.)

The group’s assignment, scheduled to be completed this month, is to produce briefing books for incoming agency officials.

In addition to Ms. Schmidt, the leaders of the group working on education and their areas of responsibility include:

  • Marshall S. Smith, the dean of the school of education at Stanford University, elementary- and secondary-education programs;

  • Gordon M. Ambach, the executive director of the Council of Chief State School Officers, departmental organization;

  • Ramon Cortines, the former superintendent of the San Francisco schools, interagency affairs;

  • Shirley Malcolm, the director of education and human resources at the American Association for the Advancement of Science, vocational-education programs; and

  • Margaret McKenna, the president of Lesley College in Boston, higher education.

Unions Represented

The two national teachers’ unions, which were strong backers of Mr. Clinton’s campaign, are also represented on the transition team.

Kenneth F. Melley, the assistant el4lexecutive director for education and advocacy programs at the National Education Association, will be working with Mr. Smith. Bella Rosenberg, an assistant to Albert Shanker, the president of the American Federation of Teachers, is on Mr. Cortines’s team.

Other participants include: Terry Peterson, who served as an education aide to former Gov. Richard Riley of South Carolina, now the head of personnel recruitment for the transition; David Haselkorn, the president of Recruiting New Teachers, a nonprofit organization; and Susan Fuhrman, the director of the Center for Policy Research in Education at Rutgers University.

Ms. Cole met with Secretary of Education Lamar Alexander for half an hour on Dec. 4, and the cluster-group leaders paid their first visit to the Education Department last week, according to Etta S. Fielek, the spokeswoman for Mr. Alexander.

But participants said late last week that the team was just beginning to organize itself.

Meanwhile, a separate transition group, which has been drafting a report outlining policy options in education and job training, was expected to send
its recommendations to Mr. Clinton this week.

Economic Team Announced

Also last week, Mr. Clinton announced his choices for the new Administration’s top economic posts--including Sen. Lloyd Bentsen, D-Tex., as Secretary of the Treasury, and Rep. Leon E. Panetta, D-Calif., as director of the Office of Management and Budget--in preparation for his economic conference scheduled for this week in Little Rock, Ark.

Teachers’ union officials said that Keith Geiger, the president of the N.E.A., and Mr. Shanker of the A.F.T. would be among the participants.

Mr. Clinton also made his first education speech as President-elect last week. Appearing at Wilbur Wright Community College in Chicago, he talked about his proposals for job training and for student loans that could be repaid through community service. He said he would consider a student’s suggestion that college tuition be made tax-deductible.

A version of this article appeared in the December 16, 1992 edition of Education Week as Team Named To Study E.D. for Transition