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Obama’s Transition Team Leader and NCLB

By Alyson Klein — November 10, 2008 1 min read
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In case you hadn’t heard, John Podesta, who was President Clinton’s chief of staff, is heading up President-elect Obama’s transition team. Obama asked Podesta to begin a full-scale review of the federal government and compile lists of potential hires, according to this Washington Post story. Podesta is now the president of the Center for American Progress, a think tank that he founded back in 2003.

The CAP has weighed in on NCLB in the past, generally on the side of the pro-strong federal accountability folks (think the Education Trust). Back in the summer of 2007, when word leaked that Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., the chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee, was pondering including “multiple measures” in an NCLB reauthorization bill, the CAP joined the Education Trust, the Citizens’ Commission on Civil Rights, and other groups in sending a letter advising Miller to tread carefully. In their view, such alternate assessments could “dilute Title I’s clear focus on the literacy and mathematics skills that students need.” You can read more about the letter in this blog post, pulled from my colleague David Hoff’s, NCLB Act II blog.

In its list of suggestions for Obama’s to-do list, the Center for American Progress calls for “labor-law reform” as one way to help spur economic growth. The group isn’'t specific about what exactly that would look like, but I bet the folks at NEA and AFT may be trying to find out, given the CAP’s high-profile role in the transition and all the talk of pay-for-performance during the campaign.

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