Blog

Your Education Road Map

Politics K-12®

ESSA. Congress. State chiefs. School spending. Elections. Education Week reporters keep watch on education policy and politics in the nation’s capital and in the states. Read more from this blog.

Federal

Who’s in the Running to Be Education Secretary?

By David J. Hoff — November 05, 2008 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

The guessing game has begun.

This morning’s Washington Post suggests that New York City Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein as secretary of education “would mark a departure from the tradition of rewarding loyalists and party leaders.” Politico reports that former Secretary of State Colin L. Powell is in the running for the job. Timemagazine’s The Page says one of “the eight burning Obama-Biden questions” is: “Would Colin Powell accept the job of secretary of education?” The Wall Street Journal interviewed Powell, who said he didn’t want to job in the Obama administration. The Chronicle of Higher Education offers a long list of possibilities; many on the list are highly unlikely, according to my sources.

And all of this happened before the Obama communications office announced the people who would be working on the transition team.

I talked with several people today who are in the know on this. They all say it’s too early to know exactly what the transition team is looking for in an education secretary for many of the same reasons I listed earlier. It probably will be two weeks before the search for an education secretary becomes serious.

But it’s too early to dismiss many of the big names mentioned so far. If you’re entering a guessing contest, you might have a shot if you pick Klein, Chicago’s Arne Duncan, North Carolina Gov. Mike Easley, or Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano. Stanford Professor Linda Darling-Hammond has some influential backers, I hear, and Jonathan Schnur—the head of New Leaders for New Schools—certainly has connections to the campaign that could land him in charge at the Education Department. But both may be better suited for positions that focus more on policy than politics.

But if you want a long-shot candidate, try Atlanta Superintendent Beverly Hall. And you can say you read it here first.

Events

Special Education Webinar Reading, Dyslexia, and Equity: Best Practices for Addressing a Threefold Challenge
Learn about proven strategies for instruction and intervention that support students with dyslexia.
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
Personalized Learning Webinar
No Time to Waste: Individualized Instruction Will Drive Change
Targeted support and intervention can boost student achievement. Join us to explore tutoring’s role in accelerating the turnaround. 
Content provided by Varsity Tutors for Schools
Student Well-Being K-12 Essentials Forum Social-Emotional Learning: Making It Meaningful
Join us for this event with educators and experts on the damage the pandemic did to academic and social and emotional well-being.

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 Fed's Education Research Board Is Back. Here's Why That Matters
Defunct for years, the National Board for Education Sciences has new members and new priorities.
2 min read
Image of a conference table.
vasabii/iStock/Getty
Federal Opinion NAEP Needs to Be Kept at Arm’s Length From Politics
It’s in all our interests to ensure NAEP releases are buffered from political considerations and walled off from political appointees.
4 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
Federal Feds Emphasize Legal Protections for Pregnant or Recently Pregnant Students, Employees
The U.S. Department of Education has released a new resource summary related to pregnancy discrimination in schools.
2 min read
Young girl checking her pregnancy test, sitting on beige couch at home.
iStock/Getty Images Plus
Federal Conservatives Hammer on Hot-Button K-12 Education Issues at Federalist Society Event
The influential legal group discussed critical race theory, gender identity, and Title IX.
6 min read
Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos speaks at the Phoenix International Academy in Phoenix on Oct. 15, 2020.
Former U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos was among a phalanx of conservatives addressing K-12 issues at a conference of the Federalist Society.
Matt York/AP