Education News in Brief


October 10, 2017 1 min read

President Donald Trump recently tapped three men for top posts at the U.S. Department of Education:

Tim Kelly

Tim Kelly, a Michigan state representative, would become the assistant secretary for career and technical education with Senate confirmation.

In that role, he would oversee the $1 billion Perkins Career and Technical Education program, which is due for a makeover.

He chairs the Michigan House panel that oversees K-12 spending, as well as a committee that deals with K-12 policy. And he has worked to expand school choice.

Mick Zais

Mitchell “Mick” Zais, a former South Carolina schools chief and an opponent of the Common Core State Standards, has been nominated to be deputy secretary.

As state chief, he tried to persuade South Carolina to dump the common core and unilaterally decided to scrap the standards-aligned Smarter Balanced exams. Zais was also a supporter of school choice, and he championed expanding education about gun rights. In addition, he cut special education funding.

Zais previously was the president of Newberry College in South Carolina, and served in the U.S. Army.

Jim Blew, the director of Student Success California, has gotten the nod to lead the office of planning, evaluation, and policy analysis.

Jim Blew

Another big proponent of expanding school choice, he was the national president of StudentsFirst, an education redesign organization started by Michelle Rhee, the former District of Columbia schools chancellor.

Guadalupe Guerrero

Before that, Blew was the Walton Family Foundation’s director of K-12 reform, advising the foundation on how to broaden schooling options for low-income communities.

Guadalupe Guerrero has been named superintendent of the Portland, Ore., school system. He previously served as a high-level administrator in San Francisco and as a principal in Boston. And he taught in both districts.

A version of this article appeared in the October 11, 2017 edition of Education Week as Transitions