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Ed. Dept. Nominee Awaits a Message on His Confirmation

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Williamson M. Evers has been a prolific e-mailer on and off for the past decade.

From his perch at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, Mr. Evers would send out his thoughts, news articles, or links about provocative education policy issues.

The e-mails stopped when Mr. Evers went to Iraq as an adviser to the Coalition Provisional Authority to help rebuild the country’s education system in 2003 and again in February when President Bush nominated him to be the assistant secretary for planning, evaluation, and policy development at the Department of Education.

But Mr. Evers’ hiatus ended briefly on Sept. 11, when he e-mailed to undisclosed recipients a story in that day’s edition of The Washington Post detailing his stalled nomination.

Williamson M. Evers

The Post story described how the nomination of the “policy wonk with a rumpled appearance” had been held up in the Senate, attributing the delay to enemies Mr. Evers had made in the 1990s while debating curriculum issues in California.

“Rude, brusque, overbearing, pushy—he’s basically an intellectual bully,” said Edwin Morton, a resident of Palo Alto, Calif., who opposed Mr. Evers in a debate over mathematics curriculum in the city’s schools.

Mr. Evers told the Post that he would not comment for the story. But the newspaper reported that “close friends” say Mr. Evers is frustrated by the delay.

The Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee plans to discuss Mr. Evers’ nomination at its next working session, said Melissa Wagoner, a spokeswoman for Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., the committee’s chairman.

Mr. Evers is the only Education Department employee awaiting Senate confirmation.

In a brief e-mail exchange with Education Week, Mr. Evers declined to elaborate on the Post story or to say whether his circulation of it was an endorsement of its accuracy.

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Vol. 27, Issue 04, Page 19

Published in Print: September 19, 2007, as Ed. Dept. Nominee Awaits a Message on His Confirmation

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