Blog

Your Education Road Map

Politics K-12®

ESSA. Congress. State chiefs. School spending. Elections. Education Week reporters keep watch on education policy and politics in the nation’s capital and in the states. Read more from this blog.

Federal

NCLB Foe as Ed Sec?

By Alyson Klein — November 21, 2008 1 min read

So over at Flypaper, Mike Petrilli is placing his Ed Sec bets on former presidential candidate and New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson.

I seriously doubt it, for one reason: No one in the primary campaigned harder against NCLB than Richardson. He made it clear that he wanted to completely scrap the law and went after then-front runner Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York for saying she just wanted to “fix” it. Since President-elect Obama is of the mend-it-don’t-end-it mind set, I’m guessing his education secretary pick would likely be, too.

Richardson also wanted to set a minimum wage for teachers, which isn’t something Obama ever mentioned as a priority. He talked a lot more about improving teacher training through residency programs and mentoring.

It’s hard to say if Richardson really believes in the policies he promoted as a presidential candidate, or if he was just a dark horse candidate who thought that an NEA or AFT endorsement could give him some serious momentum.

Interestingly, when I was talking to NEA executive director John Wilson about his personal favorites for education secretary, Richardson’s name never came up. He said he’d like to see a former governor in the job, and didn’t mention Richardson specifically, at least at first. He did supply a couple of names, including Gov. Mike Easley of North Carolina and former Gov. Ronnie Musgrove of Mississippi, among others. In a later email, he mentioned Tom Vilsak, former governor of Iowa, Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas, Ted Strickland of Ohio, and Richardson, along with a former state superintendent, Inez Tenenbaum of South Carolina.

Related Tags: