How Spellings Strategy Could Screw Up Future NCLB Changes
It's no big news that EdSec Spellings has the notion to revamp NCLB with or without a formal reauthorization, but this story from CQ (Bush Mints a Legacy) gives us some new details to chew on. In particular, the piece points out that state plan approval could be used, along with directives and pilots and waivers we already know about. Plus Spellings' secret weapon: Acting Assistant Secretary of Education Douglas Mesecar (pictured). However, if the USDE gives away the store -- implementing consensus items and offering states and districts sweeteners -- then it makes it all that much harder for Congress and a new President to get the other, harder stuff done in 2009.
UPDATE: Is Assistant Sec higher or lower than Deputy Sec? I forget (don't care). In any case, congrats, condolences to Mesecar The Missile, per the email below. It's not how long you're there, remember, or whether you get anything done, but rather the title you have when you leave. The rest is like your GPA -- no one remembers, no one cares.
U.S. SECRETARY OF EDUCATION NAMES DOUG MESECAR ASSISTANT DEPUTY SECRETARY FOR THE OFFICE OF INNOVATION AND IMPROVEMENT
U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings today announced that Doug Mesecar will lead the Office of Innovation and Improvement as Assistant Deputy Secretary on Feb. 29. The Office of Innovation and Improvement (OII) coordinates the implementation of the public school choice and supplemental services provisions of the president's No Child Left Behind Act and oversees the administration of approximately 28 grant programs, including the Public Charter School Program. OII is the entrepreneurial arm of the Department, supporting education innovation and making strategic investments in promising educational practices. It provides leadership in the areas of parental options, information and rights.
Mesecar has served in various positions at the Department, most recently as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Office of Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development and as Acting Assistant Secretary until Bill Evers’ confirmation in October, 2007. Before rejoining the Department in February, 2007, Doug served as Director of Government Relations and Policy Advisor to Edison Schools, Inc. where he was a strong advocate for school improvement and charter schools. Doug has also worked on Capitol Hill as a professional staff member to the House Education and Workforce Committee as it drafted the No Child Left Behind Act and as the Director of the Education Reform Caucus.
Regarding Mesecar’s appointment, Secretary Spellings said, “As a former teacher, Doug has dedicated his career to educational improvement and reform. His experience and dedication to improving academic achievement and educational options will help achieve the goal of providing every child, especially those from low-income families, with the high quality education he or she deserves.”
Mesecar earned his bachelor’s degree from Hope College in Michigan and a provisional teaching license after post-graduate study in education at the University of Denver in Colorado. He taught fifth grade at Witt Elementary in Jefferson County, Colo., where he beta-tested new district standards and successfully taught gifted and talented and special education students.