Where Are They Now?

Published November 1, 2004

Some of School Reform News‘ early contributing editors are now making much bigger contributions to education … and to the nation.

Jeff Flake

Formerly executive director of the Goldwater Institute, Jeff Flake is serving his second term in the U.S. Congress, representing the Sixth Congressional District of Arizona. He serves on three committees in the House of Representatives: the Committee on the Judiciary, the Committee on International Relations, and the Committee on Resources.

In Washington, Flake has continued to work for choice and competition in education. He introduced legislation to give states more freedom to replace bilingual education programs with innovative alternatives, a measure that was adopted and approved as part of President George W. Bush’s education plan.

James Peyser

James A. Peyser was appointed chairman of the Massachusetts Board of Education in 1999. He also serves as chairman of the Educational Management Audit Council. Peyser was first appointed to the Board of Education by Governor William Weld in 1996.

In 2001, Peyser joined the governor’s staff under Jane Swift and served as education advisor to Swift and Governor Mitt Romney. He resigned from that post in October 2003 to head up the East Coast office of New Schools Venture Fund, a nonprofit firm that finances charter schools and other projects aimed at improving public education.

Prior to these appointments, Peyser worked for eight years as executive director of the Boston-based Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research.

Nina Rees

Nina Shokraii Rees, assistant deputy secretary for innovation and improvement, leads the Office of Innovation and Improvement (OII) at the U.S. Department of Education, where she oversees the administration of approximately 28 grant programs that support innovation in education. Rees also works with the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education in coordinating the implementation of the public school choice and supplemental services provisions of the president’s No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB).

Prior to joining the U.S. Department of Education, Rees served on the White House staff as a deputy assistant for domestic policy in the office of Vice President Dick Cheney. Before January 2001, she served as an education policy advisor to the Bush presidential campaign and helped draft the initial NCLB law. From 1997 to 2001, she served as chief education analyst for The Heritage Foundation, where she was the foundation’s lead author and spokesperson on education.

Tom Tancredo

Currently serving his third term as the Representative for the Sixth Congressional District of Colorado, Tom Tancredo first became a member of Congress in November 1998. His current committee assignments include the U.S. House Budget Committee, the Committee on International Relations, and the Committee on Resources. Two of his top priorities have been to implement education tax credits and create secure U.S. borders.

Tancredo served in the Colorado legislature from 1976 to 1981 before accepting an appointment in the Reagan administration to serve as the Secretary of Education’s regional representative, where he downsized the regional office from 220 employees to approximately 60. From 1993 to 1998, he served as president of the Golden-based Independence Institute.

George A. Clowes is managing editor of School Reform News. His email address is [email protected].