Former U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. is taking the helm of the Education Trust, an organization in Washington that has spent decades advocating for poor and minority children.
King will be only the second leader in the organization’s 25-year history, taking over for Kati Haycock, its CEO and founder.
The move seems like a natural fit for King, who made championing equitable access to education for all students, including historically overlooked students, a central mission in his single year as President Barack Obama’s second education secretary.
He has outlined an ambitious agenda for the organization, starting with working with states and districts to implement the Every Student Succeeds Act.
And he also said in an interview that the group “will continue to be a loud voice for protecting student civil rights, and we’ll continue to use data, research, evidence to call attention to places where students’ civil rights are not being protected.”
As education secretary, King clashed with key Republicans in Congress, including Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., the education committee chairman, over ESSA regulations on accountability and spending.
But King doesn’t expect those past differences to be a roadblock in his new role.
He said that he always had “a positive relationship” with Alexander and that their conversations were “constructive and thoughtful.” He also sees a push by Alexander and others to allow college students to use Pell Grants during the summer and an effort to make over career and technical education programs as two areas on which the Education Trust could partner with Republicans.
A version of this article appeared in the February 08, 2017 edition of Education Week as Former Ed. Sec. John B. King Jr. to Head Education Trust