The U.S. Department of Education has been under an intense microscope from the moment the Trump administration took office. After months of speculation, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has named nine new staffers to fill key posts at the DOE.
"None of these folks have received formal nominations from the White House, and will not need Senate confirmation to step into their roles," according to Education Week. "But some will be serving in an 'acting' capacity in positions that they can be nominated formally for later."
Most of the appointments have had plenty of experience working in the public and private education sector and, for that reason, are considered uncontroversial selections. However, the appointment of Candice E. Jackson is drawing significant backlash from some circles. Jackson is being tapped to serve as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights and Acting Assistant Secretary. She is the author of a book titled, "Their Lives: Women Targeted by the Clinton Machine," which centers on women who made allegations of harassment against former President Bill Clinton. According to Education Week, Jackson held an event during the 2016 election that featured some of these accusers.
Meanwhile, there are more mainstream appointees like James Manning who worked in the Department of Education under the Bush and Obama administrations. According to the article, Manning once testified before the House of Representatives, in which he urged the U.S. institutions of higher education to be open channels for international students. Manning will serve as the Senior Adviser to the Under Secretary and Acting Under Secretary.
DeVos has appointed Josh Venable as the Chief of Staff. Venable previously worked as the national director of advocacy and legislation at the Foundation for Excellence In Education, a non-profit founded by Jeb Bush.
For a full comprehensive list of the newly appointed Department of Education Appointees, click here.
Article by Navindra Persaud, Education World Contributor.