Federal

Fiscal Official Tapped for E.D. Post

By Sean Cavanagh — November 05, 2003 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

President Bush announced last week his intention to fill the No. 3 position in the Department of Education with a top financial officer from another federal agency, a move supporters say will help preserve fiscal order at the department.

Edward R. “Ted” McPherson, the chief financial officer for the Department of Agriculture, will be nominated to the job of undersecretary of education, the White House and the Education Department said on Oct. 28.

That role would call for him to serve as a key adviser to Secretary of Education Rod Paige, whose senior staff has seen several departures recently. The same day as the announcement about Mr. McPherson, the secretary named Anne Radice, a former foundation executive, as his chief of staff.

A Texas native, Mr. McPherson, 58, has years of financial experience in government and private industry, but little apparent expertise on school issues. His appointment still requires Senate confirmation.

The undersecretary traditionally serves as a principal adviser to the secretary on matters ranging from the budget and strategic planning to education policy. Several observers suggested that political and policy duties, including the continued implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act, were likely to remain the domain of the No. 2 official in the department, acting Deputy Secretary of Education Eugene W. Hickok, who has also been serving as undersecretary.

Mr. Paige suggested that Mr. McPherson was being tapped for his financial know- how. The Agriculture Department official would be a “valuable asset in our continued efforts to be responsible stewards” of federal tax dollars, the secretary said in a statement.

A spokesman for Sen. Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts, the ranking Democrat on the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, said it was too early to comment on the confirmation process for Mr. McPherson.

Watching the Books

The White House and the Education Department offered no comment on whether Mr. Hickok—one of the department’s most visible advocates for the No Child Left Behind law—would be nominated for Senate confirmation as deputy secretary.

The Department of Education oversees an annual discretionary budget of roughly $53 billion.

Mr. McPherson’s name emerged about four months after the resignation of Deputy Secretary of Education William D. Hansen, who cited a desire to spend more time with his family. Observers credited Mr. Hansen with revamping financial oversight of the 4,800-employee department. Under his stewardship, the agency received its first “clean” audit report on its finances in six years. (“Ed. Dept’s No. 2 Official Announces Resignation,” June 6, 2003, and “Department’s No. 2 Official Stepping Down,” June 11, 2003.)

Bruce Hunter, a lobbyist for the American Association of School Administrators, in Arlington, Va., predicted that Mr. McPherson would absorb the budget-watchdog duties previously handled by Mr. Hansen.

“If they’re asking him to go out and make education speeches, he might be able to do that,” Mr. Hunter said of Mr. McPherson, “but he wouldn’t have a whole lot of credibility.”

Ms. Radice, 55, has served as the executive director of two New York City foundations: Friends of Dresden, devoted to the revival of the German city heavily bombed during World War II; and the Appeal of Conscience Foundation, a human-rights organization. She has also been the acting chairwoman of the National Endowment for the Arts.

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
Professional Development Webinar
Strategies for Improving Student Outcomes with Teacher-Student Relationships
Explore strategies for strengthening teacher-student relationships and hear how districts are putting these methods into practice to support positive student outcomes.
Content provided by Panorama Education
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
Classroom Technology Webinar
Transform Teaching and Learning with AI
Increase productivity and support innovative teaching with AI in the classroom.
Content provided by Promethean
Curriculum Webinar Computer Science Education Movement Gathers Momentum. How Should Schools React?
Discover how schools can expand opportunities for students to study computer science education.

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

Federal Cardona Back-to-School Tour to Focus on Teacher Pipeline, Academic Recovery
U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona will spend a week traveling to six states to highlight a range of K-12 priorities.
2 min read
Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona answers questions during an interview in his office in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, August 23, 2022.
U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona continues a tradition of on-site visits by the nation's top education official as the school year opens.
Alyssa Schukar for Education Week
Federal Biden's Student Loan Forgiveness: How Much Will It Help Teachers?
Advocates say Black educators—who tend to carry heavier debt loads—won't benefit as much.
5 min read
Illustration of student loans.
alexsl/iStock/Getty
Federal Q&A U.S. Education Secretary Cardona: How to Fix Teacher Shortages, Create Safe Schools
In an exclusive interview with Education Week, the secretary looks ahead to the challenges of this school year.
10 min read
Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona answers questions during an interview in his office in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, August 23, 2022.
Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona answers questions during an interview in his office in Washington on Aug. 23.
Alyssa Schukar for Education Week
Federal Voters Want Republicans and Democrats to Talk About Learning Recovery, Not Culture Wars
A recent Democrats for Education Reform poll shows a disconnect between political candidates and voters on education issues.
4 min read
Image of voting and party lines.
TheaDesign/iStock/Getty