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Ben Carson Out; Education Secretary Rumors Swirl

Ben Carson Out; Education Secretary Rumors Swirl

As President-elect Donald Trump begins the process of selecting cabinet members, those working in the education community are speculating as to who will be the next person in control of the Department of Education.

Early on in the speculation, many insiders suspected that Ben Carson, retired neurosurgeon who led a failed run for the presidency, would be Trump’s first pick.

Trump said of Carson during his campaign:

"'I was most impressed with his views on education. It’s a strength. It’s a tremendous strength,' he said. So Carson is 'going to be involved with us,' particularly on health and education," Trump said, according to The Washington Post.

Yesterday, however, a longtime advisor to Carson revealed he’s not interested in taking a cabinet position.

"Dr. Carson feels he has no government experience, he's never run a federal agency. The last thing he would want to do was take a position that could cripple the presidency," said Armstrong Williams.

With Carson out, who is still being considered?

According to CNN, other candidates include renowned education reformer Michelle Rhee and Success Academy Charter Schools founder Eva Moskowitz.

The New York Daily News says Moskowitz, who is a polemical figure in the education community due to the controversies that surround the high-performing yet embattled Success Academy network, is not interested.

That leaves Michelle Rhee, a reformer who despite being a Democratic, has spent her time working in education promoting charter schools and school voucher programs. This “school choice” philosophy is a tenant of Republican education ideology and also a major part of Trump’s education vision.

Whoever Trump selects might have to get comfortable with the fact that his or her role as Education Secretary will be more limited than it has been in previous years; Trump has expressed support for limiting the Department of Education’s powers throughout his campaign.

The next education secretary will take over for current Education Secretary John B. King, Jr., who served just under a year-long term after filling in following previous secretary Arne Duncan’s resignation.

Nicole Gorman, Senior Education Contributor

11/16/2016

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