Federal Federal File

Revolving Door

By David J. Hoff — December 12, 2006 1 min read

Henry L. Johnson, a major addition to the Department of Education during a spate of leadership changes last year, has resigned his position, effective Dec. 31.

Henry L. Johnson

The assistant secretary for elementary and secondary education, Mr. Johnson said last week that he intends to return to his native North Carolina, but will consult with the federal department for up to six months after his departure. He outlined his plans in a speech at a conference sponsored by the National Association of State Boards of Education in Alexandria, Va.

The former Mississippi state schools chief was one of two high-profile assistant secretaries appointed to their jobs last year at the beginning of President Bush’s second term and the start of Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings’ tenure at the department.

Thomas W. Luce III, who joined the department at the same time as Mr. Johnson, as the assistant secretary for planning, evaluation, and policy development, left the agency earlier this year. Like Mr. Johnson, he left to return to his home state—in his case, Texas—to be closer to family. (“Education Department Is Losing Two High-Ranking Officials,” July 26, 2006.)

Mr. Johnson has served at the Education Department during a period of major changes in the implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act, the nearly 5-year-old law designed to spur increased student achievement.

Shortly before his arrival, Secretary Spellings announced that she would offer states flexibility in carrying out the law’s testing mandate for students in special education and in determining how schools can achieve adequate yearly progress.

Mr. Johnson leaves at a time when the department is preparing proposals to reauthorize the law, which Congress is scheduled to take up next year.

In his Dec. 7 speech, he said he hopes that one of his ideas will be part of that debate. Mr. Johnson has pushed for the law to have lesser penalties for schools and districts that fail to meet achievement targets in one or two demographic categories, saving major interventions for those that are falling short for all students.

Over time, he said, department officials’ attitude “has gone from ‘no way, Jose,’ to … ‘maybe we ought to do this.’ ”

A version of this article appeared in the December 13, 2006 edition of Education Week

Events

Jobs The EdWeek Top School Jobs Virtual Career Fair
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.
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
Mathematics Webinar
Engaging Young Students to Accelerate Math Learning
Join learning scientists and inspiring district leaders, for a timely panel discussion addressing a school district’s approach to doubling and tripling Math gains during Covid. What started as a goal to address learning gaps in
Content provided by Age of Learning & Digital Promise, Harlingen CISD
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
Curriculum Webinar
How to Power Your Curriculum With Digital Books
Register for this can’t miss session looking at best practices for utilizing digital books to support their curriculum.
Content provided by OverDrive

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 Opinion Education Outlets Owe Readers More Than the Narratives They Want to Hear
It's vital that serious news organizations challenge runaway narratives and help readers avoid going down ideological rabbit holes.
4 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
Federal As GOP Leaves K-12 Out of Its Infrastructure Plan, Advocates Look For Alternatives
The GOP is proposing $1 trillion in federal dollars for the nation's infrastructure, but school buildings aren't part of their proposal.
6 min read
A trash can and pink kiddie pool are used to collect water that leaks from the roof into the media center at Green County High School in Snow Hill, N.C..
A trash can and pink kiddie pool are used to collect water that leaks from the roof into the media center at Green County High School in Snow Hill, N.C.
Alex Boerner for Education Week
Federal Biden Pick for Education Civil Rights Office Has History With Racial Equity, LGBTQ Issues
Biden selected Catherine Lhamon to lead the Education Department's civil rights work, a role she also held in the Obama administration.
2 min read
Flags decorate a space outside the office of the Education Secretary at the Education Department in Washington on Aug. 9, 2017.
Flags decorate a space outside the office of the Education Secretary at the Education Department in Washington on Aug. 9, 2017.
Jacquelyn Martin/AP
Federal Lawmakers Press CDC About Teachers' Union Influence on School Reopening Guidance
Republican senators asked CDC Director Rochelle Walensky about reports a teachers' union had input on guidance for schools on COVID-19.
3 min read
Dr. Rochelle Walensky speaks during an event in Wilmington, Del., to announce President-elect Joe Biden's health care team on Dec. 8, 2020.
Dr. Rochelle Walensky, CDC director, speaks during an event in Wilmington, Del., to announce then-President-elect Joe Biden's health care team on Dec. 8, 2020.
Susan Walsh/AP