Denise Forte, who has been serving as acting assistant secretary for planning, evaluation, and policy development, is leaving the U.S. Department of Education, spokesman Cameron French said.
Forte, a former staffer for Rep. George Miller, the leading Democrat in the House on K-12 issues, stepped into the role on a temporary basis when Carmel Martin—a driving force behind many of the policies that characterized Secretary Duncan’s first term—left the department to serve as the executive vice president for policy at the Center for American Progress. (Quick Forte bio here.)
So who will fill Forte/Martin’s shoes? Gabriella Gomez, who now serves as the assistant secretary for legislation and congressional affairs, is expected to take the position on an acting basis—but that hasn’t been made official yet. (Gomez is also a former member of Team Miller.) And Lloyd Horwich, the deputy assistant secretary in the office of legislation and congressional affairs, and yet another former aide to Democrats on the House education committee, is likely to take on Gomez’ former gig. (Again, nothing official on that just yet.)
Think that leaves a lot of folks in “acting” key roles at the U.S. Department of Education? You’re right! And there are other new players in key roles, including Emma Vadehra, the new chief of staff.
There’s always high turnover in the administration during the second term, but the changes come at a particularly critical time for the department, as the feds must begin overseeing 40-plus waivers from key provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act.