School & District Management

Sclafani Steps Down From Top Vocational Education Post

By Sean Cavanagh — August 30, 2005 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Susan K. Sclafani, who as the Department of Education’s assistant secretary for vocational and adult education won the respect of many career-oriented school officials even as she pressed them to improve their academic programs, announced her resignation last week.

BRIC ARCHIVE

Ms. Sclafani, 60, will step down Sept. 6. She did not specify what her next job would be, though she indicated she would focus on secondary school improvement.

“I hope to assist states and districts as they implement the reforms of No Child Left Behind, especially mathematics and science as well as high school redesign,” she wrote in an Aug. 24 e-mail message to her staff. She was not available for an interview.

Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings named Beto Gonzalez, who was hired as a top deputy to Ms. Sclafani earlier this month, to take over her position on an interim basis until President Bush nominates a successor. Mr. Gonzalez, a former college dean, most recently served as a public-affairs official in the Department of Labor.

Ms. Sclafani oversaw a $1.3 billion program that was the federal government’s largest single investment in high schools. She also served at a time when the Bush administration was often critical of vocational education. The president’s proposed fiscal 2006 budget calls for eliminating the federal vocational program—a move that outraged many advocates—and channeling that money into a plan to expand the No Child Left Behind Act’s requirements at the high school level. The proposal has drawn no backing so far in Congress, where vocational education enjoys strong support.

Despite her position as a political appointee in the administration, Ms. Sclafani spoke favorably of vocational education and its potential—when implemented effectively—to help struggling students. That stance drew praise from the career and technical school community, but also seemed to put her at odds occasionally with the administration’s outlook, observers said. (“Tough Message, Diplomatic Messenger,” Aug. 10, 2005)

“We really felt she was focused on improving education and wasn’t as politically motivated as, sometimes, people in that position are,” said Kimberly A. Green, the executive director of the Washington-based National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium. “Her leadership will be missed.”

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
Start Strong With Solid SEL Implementation: Success Strategies for the New School Year
Join Satchel Pulse to learn why implementing a solid SEL program at the beginning of the year will deliver maximum impact to your students.
Content provided by Satchel Pulse
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Science Webinar
Real-World Problem Solving: How Invention Education Drives Student Learning
Hear from student inventors and K-12 teachers about how invention education enhances learning, opens minds, and preps students for the future.
Content provided by The Lemelson Foundation
Jobs Virtual Career Fair for Teachers and K-12 Staff
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School & District Management School Districts Showcase What's Working to Improve Student Learning
School leaders from 13 districts shared strategies at a national summit by AASA, the School Superintendents Association.
3 min read
David Schuler, superintendent of High School District 214 near Chicago, Ill., speaks about college and career readiness during a presentation at AASA's first annual Learning 2025 Summit on Tuesday, June 28, 2022, in Washington, D.C. High School District 214 is one of 13 "lighthouse" districts that were recognized for innovative work to improve school systems.
David Schuler, superintendent of High School District 214 near Chicago, speaks about college and career readiness at a summit in Washington.
Libby Stanford/Education Week
School & District Management Schools Prefer Cheaper Ventilation Options to Curb COVID: Why They Should Consider Upgrading
Most schools are opening windows and hosting class outdoors rather than investing in costlier, more-effective measures.
2 min read
Students from PS 11 Elementary School participate in art projects and interactive activities, during an after-school outdoor program held in the High Line park in New York, NY, October 21, 2020.
Students from PS 11 Elementary School participate in art projects and interactive activities during an after-school outdoor program in New York City in 2020. Many schools are opting for outdoor classes and other-low cost measures to maintain healthy air quality during the pandemic.
Anthony Behar/Sipa via AP Images
School & District Management Hour by Busy Hour: What a Principal's Day Actually Looks Like
From the time they wake up until they set the alarm at night, school leaders juggle the routine, the unexpected, and the downright bizarre.
Left, Principal Michael C. Brown talks on a radio at Winters Mill High School in Westminster, Md., on May 17, 2022. Right, Boone Elementary School principal Manuela Haberer directs students and parents in the pick-up line at the conclusion of the school day on May 19, 2022 in San Antonio, Texas.
Left, Principal Michael C. Brown talks on a radio at Winters Mill High School in Westminster, Md., on May 17, 2022. Right, Boone Elementary School principal Manuela Haberer directs students and parents in the pick-up line at the conclusion of the school day on May 19, 2022 in San Antonio, Texas.
From left, Steve Ruark and Lisa Krantz for Education Week
School & District Management Photos What School Leadership Looks Like: A Day in the Life of a Principal
A look at a typical day for one elementary school principal in Texas and a high school principal in Maryland.
1 min read
Principal Michael C. Brown, from left, talks to seniors Brady D’Anthony, 18, and Sydney Dryden, 17, at Winters Mill High School in Westminster, Md., Tuesday, May 17, 2022.
Principal Michael C. Brown, from left, talks to seniors Brady D’Anthony, 18, and Sydney Dryden, 17, at Winters Mill High School in Westminster, Md., Tuesday, May 17, 2022.
Steve Ruark for Education Week