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Romney Names Education Policy Advisers

By Christina A. Samuels — May 22, 2012 2 min read
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Presumed GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s campaign has released a list of people who are advising the campaign on education issues, including a former U.S. Secretary of Education and a current state schools chief.

Serving as Romney’s K-12 committee co-chairs will be Nina S. Rees, a former assistant deputy secretary for innovation and improvement at the U.S. Department of Education and currently the senior vice president for strategic initiatives at Knowledge Universe; and Martin R. West, an assistant professor of education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and executive editor of Education Next.

Other committee members include Rod Paige, former secretary of education under President George W. Bush; Robert M. Costrell, a former education advisor to Romney when the candidate was governor of Massachusetts; Grover J. “Russ” Whitehurst, the former head of the U.S. Institute of Education Sciences and the director of the Brown Center on Education Policy at the Brookings Institution; and Tom Luna, the Idaho superintendent of public instruction and president of Council of Chief State School Officers.

Missing from the list is former U.S. Education Secretary Margaret Spellings, who was listed as an adviser to the campaign back in March.

UPDATE: Spellings told Alyson that she decided not to serve on Romney’s education task force because of her work as a key education policy strategist at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber has been “outspoken about a variety of policies,” she said. (Those who follow Congress probably remember that the Chamber came out against two bills reauthorizing the No Child Left Behind Act because they weren’t strong enough on accountability.) Spellings remains a Romney fan, calling him “one of the best governors in the country on education.”

Other committee members are:

  • Phil Handy, chief executive officer of Strategic Industries, and a former member of the National Board for Education Sciences;
  • Bill Hansen, chairman and chief executive officer of Madison Education Group, and a former U.S. deputy secretary of education;
  • Carol D’Amico, vice president of Project Lead the Way, and a former U.S. assistant secretary of education;
  • Emily Stover DeRocco, president of the Washington-based Manufacturing Institute;
  • John Bailey, former U.S. Education Department director of educational technology;
  • Christina Culver, president of C/H Global Strategies, a former acting U.S. assistant secretary and deputy assistant secretary of education;
  • John E. Chubb, interim chief executive officer, Education Sector;
  • Dr. Bill Evers, research fellow, Hoover Institution, and a former U.S. assistant secretary of education;
  • Scott Fleming, president and vice chairman of Madison Education Group;
  • Julio A. Fuentes, president and chief executive officer of the Hispanic Council for Reform and Educational Options;
  • Paul E. Peterson, professor of government, Harvard University;
  • Jim Peyser, managing partner with New Schools Venture Fund and chairman of the National Association of Charter School Authorizers;
  • Herbert Walberg, distinguished visiting fellow, Hoover Institution.
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