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Veteran Hillary Clinton Education Adviser Named to Candidate’s Transition Team

By Andrew Ujifusa — August 17, 2016 1 min read

Ann O’Leary, who has a long track record of advising Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton on K-12, has been named to Clinton’s transition team if the former secretary of state wins the November election.

O’Leary’s selection to the transition team was reported by The New York Times. The paper reported that O’Leary, who has been Clinton’s senior adviser for education on the campaign, would from now on be working “full time” on the transition team.

We discussed O’Leary’s connections with Clinton going back to her days as a senator here, and Fortune did an interesting profile on O’Leary last year.

As we’ve pointed out on a few occasions, K-12 policy has been pretty far from the spotlight during the 2016 race. But to the extent Clinton’s campaign has addressed it, O’Leary has been front and center. Back in May, she appeared at a forum on education policy in Washington in which she debated K-12 issues with a representative from the campaign of former Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.

“I hope that this time around, we’re able to recognize we need to have a full curriculum for all students,” O’Leary said when discussing the new federal K-12 law, the Every Student Succeeds Act. “We are all for supporting districts and states figuring out what works for them.”

And at an event connected with the Democratic National Convention last month in Philadelphia, O’Leary talked about Clinton’s plans for early childhood education and higher education—but didn’t touch too much on K-12.

“We really need to make sure that we improve our K-12 programs,” O’Leary said at an event hosted by Education Reform Now, an advocacy group. “It is a crime that we are making [students] pay for remedial education when they get to college” because K-12 schools were inadequate.

We’ll have to see how O’Leary’s move impacts the campaign’s approach to discussing education issues from now until November.


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