People: Meet Bradley Tusk, Reform Strategist
He's not the head of a reform organization, or an elected figure, or a foundation officer. He's not even really an education guy, and actually sort of looks like one of my favorite MMA fighters. But folks in and around the education world often mention Bradley Tusk (top left) for the work he does helping reform groups get their message out. Somehow, I've never done a post about him.
A former campaign manager for New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Tusk has been mentioned in several past education news pieces, including this one from the NYT in 2010, this one from New York Magazine in 2011, this Washington DC City Paper sidebar [from which this image is taken] and a slew of mentions at GothamSchools. Before founding Tusk Strategies, he also did stints working for Chuck Schumer and Rod Blagojevich.
According to his website (Education Reform), Tusk has had enormous successes working on "some of the most innovative and successful education reform initiatives across the country," including ERN (aka DFER), NBC News (aka Education Nation), StudentsFirst (aka Michelle Rhee), the Partnership for Education in Newark (aka Zuckerland), and Success Charter Network (aka Eva Moskowitz).
Whether he does a good job or not is up for debate, as with most things. I get the sense that he's expensive, and not truly an education specialist. No problem with that -- there are lots of non-education conultants and strategists opererating in EducationLand™ -- including on the left, where folks like Kombiz Lavasany work for AFT. That can be a good thing, given the quality dropoff or lack of quality alternatives. There isn't really any political shop that specializes in education exclusively that I can think of -- at least not yet.