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Education Advisers Are Part of Transition Team

By Alyson Klein — November 05, 2008 1 min read
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Some of President-elect Obama’s education advisers have been appointed to his transition team, according to a press release that just hit my in-box.

One is Christopher Edley, who worked on civil rights issues during the Clinton Administration and was a member of the Aspen Institute’s Commission on No Child Left Behind. The commission’s report called for voluntary national standards and data-systems to measure teacher effectiveness. Edley, who is the dean of the law school at the University of California at Berkeley, is listed as an adviser to the transition team.

Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano is also listed as an adviser. She’s rumored to be under consideration for a post in the Obama administration, possibly attorney general or secretary of education. She’s made education, particularly P-16 transition issues, a priority during her tenure as governor. And she’s talked up the link between improving education and job creation.

Melody Barnes, who worked at the Center for American Progress, a Washington think tank, will be serving as co-director for agency review at the transition team. She landed the Obama campaign in some hot water last month with proponents of education redesign when some folks interpreted her comments on Diane Rehm’s NPR show to mean that Obama wanted to let states replace the tests used to measure schools’ progress under No Child Left Behind with portfolios.

Also listed is Cassandra Butts, who served as a senior vice president on domestic policy at the Center for American Progress. She’ll be the general counsel for the transition team.

Serving on the transition team doesn’t automatically mean that these people will have jobs in the Obama administration. But it certainly wouldn’t surprise anyone if they did.

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