Thursday, November 6, 2008

A prediction for my nearest and dearest

I love making predictions. Who will win this election? When will he get married? How long will this new receptionist last before they get sacked? How much weight has so-and-so lost? When will Zac Efron come out of the closet?

The pundits are going crazy predicting President-Elect Obama's choices for his cabinet and staff. The biggest cabinet position being discussed is Secretary of the Treasury for obvious reasons.

Education is my favorite political issue because it's, well, so political. It's the issue on which most of my friends would agree I am the most conservative. Preferences aside, I am officially making my own prediction on who Obama will choose for his Secretary of Education. And it's pretty close to home. My choice: Tulane University President Scott Cowen.

Affectionately known as "Scotty C" by Tulane students, Cowen is a good friend of Vice President-Elect Joe Biden. Joe Biden's daughter Ashley attended Tulane around the same time as THP ladies, and Biden has maintained ties with the school and its very popular, business-minded president. Cowen donated his money and name to the founding of the Cowen Institute for Public Education Initiatives at Tulane. Several of my "sources" (aka drinking buddies) that work for the Tulane administration and at the Cowen Institute have suggested for awhile now that, in the event of an Obama-Biden victory, Cowen's appointment as Ed Secretary was probable.

So far, Inside Higher Ed is the only outfit I can find (in a quick Google search) that has suggested Cowen's name is on the short list for this job. Education isn't a very sexy issue for most of the pundits in making their cabinet predictions, but for other Americans, millions of whom send their children to failing public schools every day, it's an extremely important one.

Personally, I believe that Cowen as Education Secretary could do amazing things for public education all over America by sharing the progressive educative ideas employed here in New Orleans with the rest of the country. These next four years could prove to be a very exciting time to be in education.

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