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NCLB Foe as Ed Sec?

By Alyson Klein — November 21, 2008 1 min read
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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.

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