RealClearEd Today: Sec. DeVos Announces New Department Hires; Hillary Clinton Joins Gov. Cuomo to Tout New York’s Free College Program

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Education Today

Good morning, it’s April 13, 2017. This morning at RealClearEducation we have news, commentary, analysis and reports from the top of the education world.

Yesterday, Secretary DeVos officially announced the hiring of key leaders within the Department of Education. Some of the hires already served the department on its beachhead team, like her chief of staff Josh Venable, who previously worked on Gov. Jeb Bush’s presidential campaign and for Bush’s Foundation for Excellence in Education. Others are brand new to the department while some are existing department employees who are moving to different roles, like James Manning, the former chief operating officer of Federal Student Aid, who will now serve as a senior adviser to the undersecretary. But since there is no undersecretary right now he will serve as the acting undersecretary in the meantime. The Washington Post has a rundown of the notable hires. 

Hillary Clinton joined New York Governor Andrew Cuomo in Queens yesterday to tout his new program to allow middle-class families to send their children to state colleges and universities for free. In addition, Clinton didn’t pass up the opportunity to take a jab at Pres. Trump. “We don’t need to be building walls, we need to be building bridges. The best bridge to the future is a good education," she said. Her appearance with Cuomo has been interpreted by some as a sign that Cuomo’s stock is rising within the party and that Democrats clearly see the free college push as a winning political strategy.

There’s a lot going on at the state and local level in education so our friends at the Collaborative for Student Success have provided a helpful rundown of the latest news from the states:
The Indiana Dept. of Education hosted more than 100 stakeholders at a public forum to discuss the state’s ESSA plan, while the Michigan Dept. of Education submitted its draft ESSA plan to Gov. Rick Snyder for a 30-day review process. The Maryland Legislature overruled Gov. Larry Hogan’s veto of a bill that “would limit the state’s use of charter operators and vouchers to improve low-performing schools" under the state’s ESSA plan. Yesterday, we (RealClearEducation) took a deep dive into DC’s ESSA plan, noting that it is ambitious and comes with substantial changes to the status quo. However, in an opinion piece, Michael J. Petrilli and Brandon L. Wright of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute raised concerns over the District of Columbia’s proposed ESSA plan. 

Below are more highlights of the content already on our site this morning. To see everything we have, visit

NEWSMAKERS: An in-depth look at the two leading approaches to addressing inequalities in K-12 education: the “no-excuses" charter model vs. “income integration" initiatives.
IN THE STATES: LeBron James is emerging as an education leader in the state of Ohio.
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