Remember When: Get to Know the Trump Education Transition Team

(Edweek) By Alyson Klein —

The folks on President-elect Donald Trump’s education transition team will help set the policy course—and likely, even appoint key personnel—for the new administration. Their backgrounds could provide clues on the direction the Trump administration wants to go on K-12. Here’s a look:

James Manning

Trump’s transition team told reporters Monday that Manning will be a part of the “landing team” at the U.S. Department of Education; the transition team said his name would be sent to President Barack Obama’s administration at noon on Monday.

Manning worked on higher education issues at the department under President George W. Bush. Read testimony Manning gave to the House foreign affairs committee in 2007 about postsecondary issues here. “America must remain the primary destination for international students. We must work together to make sure our nation’s institutions of higher education continue to be open to students from around the globe,” Manning said.

Williamson “Bill” Evers

Evers’ name is probably familiar with the long time Education Week readers, in fact we profiled him back in 2007. He served as assistant secretary for planning, evaluation, and policy development under President George W. Bush.

He was a veteran of the so-called “math wars” in California. In helping to write standards and curriculum for the state, he championed a strong foundation of core content, particularly in the early grades. He’s also no fan of the Common Core State Standards. In fact, he wrote a commentary opposing the standards for Education Week, which you can read here.

And as a school board member in Santa Clara County Calif., Evers supported a ballot resolution that would have made it easier to fire tenured teachers.

Evers also served as an education adviser to President Bush in Iraq, and sought to ensure that standardized testing could continue despite widespread violence after the U.S. invasion in 2003.

“Iraqi parents love standardized testing and were fervently concerned not to let either the war in March and April [2003], or the subsequent guerrilla skirmishes, interfere with the nationwide testing program,” Evers wrote in a 2004 essay published in the Wall Street Journal.

And also relevant to current education debates, Evers is skeptical of “dashboards” that get at students’ opportunity to learn. (More in this Education Week commentary he wrote with Ze’ev Wurman, another one-time Bush advisor.) He’s a fan of holding schools accountable for a single data point. But that’s exactly what some states, including California, want to avoid under the Every Student Succeeds Act.    Continue Reading