Romney’s pick for Education: Jeb? Rhee?

With the Republican convention underway, it’s time to speculate about Romney’s pick for Education secretary. Over at Politics K-12, Alyson Klein writes that  former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is the number one guess among GOP insiders. Bush wrote the foreword to Romney’s education plan and is the “godfather” of the state superintendents’ group “Chiefs for Change,” which has “had a major impact on state-level education policies.”

Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty, of Minnesota also is a top mentionee.

If Romney looks for a state superintendent, Tony Bennett of Indiana, a Chief for Change, and Tom Luna of Idaho are possibilities.

. . . given Romney’s dissing of the teacher’s unions, Luna’s got anti-union street cred to spare—his tires were slashed last year when he tried to raise class size and put merit pay in place.

Other folks are fans of New Jersey’s Chris Cerf, a registered Democrat who, works with a GOP governor (Tuesday’s keynote speaker, Chris Christie).

Former superintendents include Robert Scott (Texas), Paul Pastorek (Louisiana) and Lisa Graham Keegan (of Arizona).

Folks have also suggested that Romney could use the Education Department as the one place to stick a (non-state chief) Democrat, to show his administration can be bipartisan. The name that came up most often? Former New York City chancellor Joel Klein. Other folks suggested Michelle Rhee, a Democrat, who is now running the Students First juggernaut and will be in both Tampa and Charlotte. She’ll be at screenings of the parent-trigger movie “Won’t Back Down.”

The darkest of dark horses? Some of Klein’s Republican sources suggested Romney could ask Arne Duncan to stick around. “Even if it is a joke, it shows Duncan’s still got some cross-aisle credibility,” writes Klein.

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  1. Roger Sweeny says:

    Hire the guy who writes the educationrealist blog. In his first six months, he could piss off just about everyone by telling the truth. Then he’d be fired, but he might have moved the discussion somewhat out of the fantasyland that most respectable opinion now inhabits.

  2. Jeb Bush? I guess a Romney win could cause him to give up his presidential aspirations, once and for all, but that’s what taking such a position would involve. But no, I don’t think so – not with Neil Bush’s legacy lurking in the shadows. And frankly, Jeb if that’s the best position Romney could offer Jeb, I would expect him to stay on the private market where he is not restrained from commenting on Romney’s performance and can make a lot more money.

  3. Katie Jones says:

    It will be interesting to see who Romney definitely picks.

  4. Cranberry says:

    He should pick David Driscoll.

  5. The best is answer is:

    No one, because he is abolishing the Department of Education.But I don’t think the republicans have the guts to actually do it.

  6. Roger Sweeny says:

    By itself, eliminating the Department of Education would have almost no effect. We would simply go back to the way things were before 1980–when instead of a Department of Education and a Department of Health and Human Services, we had one Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, with an Office of Education in it.

    As long as we have the laws we have now (many of which date from before 1980), we will still have people in Washington giving out money and telling the rest of the country what to do.