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LA’s Jim Blew is nominated for high-level Dept. of Education post

Laura Greanias | September 28, 2017

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Los Angeles’ Jim Blew has been nominated to become the U.S. Department of Education’s assistant secretary for planning, evaluation, and policy development, according to a White House press release issued Thursday.

Education Week reported in June that Blew was the front-runner for the position.

He still needs to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

Blew is director of Student Success California, an education reform advocacy organization affiliated with 50CAN (the 50-state Campaign for Achievement Now), a national advocacy group. He is the former president of Students First, the national advocacy organization founded by former D.C. Chancellor Michelle Rhee.

Blew served for 11 years as director of K-12 reform investments for the Walton Family Foundation, the nation’s largest funder of charter schools. He has held advisory and governing roles for education reform organizations including the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, the National Association of Charter School Authorizers, the American Federation for Children, and the Policy Innovators in Education Network.

The Trump administration has been criticized for its slow pace in nominating top executive branch officials, and the Education Department has the highest vacancy rate of any Cabinet-level agency. Before Blew’s announcement Thursday, 12 of 15 positions had yet to be put forward by the White House or confirmed by the Senate. That gives the Education Department a vacancy rate of 80 percent, compared with 50 percent across the executive branch as a whole.

Blew earned his bachelor’s from LA’s Occidental College and an MBA from Yale. He was educated in LA Unified schools and graduated from Reseda High School.

He was part of the team that started one of LA’s first inner-city independent charter schools. Watts Learning Center celebrated its 20th anniversary this month.

Disclosure: The Walton Family Foundation provides funding to LA School Report’s parent organization,

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