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Miss Obama’s Education Department? There’s a Website for That

By Alyson Klein — March 02, 2017 1 min read

Democrats: Are you already missing the Obama administration’s Education Department?

Now you don’t have to go far for an Arne Duncan or John King fix. A small group of former Obama political appointees who worked to promote Race to the Top, Investing in Innovation, and many of the president’s other greatest (or worst, depending on your take) edu-hits have put together a website, Education44.

Liz Utrup, who worked in the communications office during Obama’s tenure, is one of the driving forces behind the site. It also has roots in Education Post, the advocacy organization run by Peter Cunningham, who worked as a top aide to Duncan when he was secretary.

Utrup said the site’s goal is to feature opinion pieces and other writing from Obama edu-alumni, and potentially a range of other folks who focus on education policy and practice.

Utrup called the site a “fact-based platform to share information” about the Obama administration’s approach to education, and education policy in general.

On the site right now: A debate over the efficacy of the School Improvement Grant program, a critique of the Trump administration’s push to roll back the Obama administration’s guidance on transgender students’ ... and naturally, a blog post by former education secretaries Duncan and King. (Crossposted from the Washington Post.)

As a reporter who has covered the department for more than a decade, I love the idea of a platform for former appointees to unleash their views on current policy moves. So here’s a message to Trump administration education officials: Start saving those anecdotes for Education45, which could debut four or eight years from now.


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