For the past week several journos have been calling around trying to get confirmation that Tom Luce was indeed stepping down from his post at the Department of Education. Though everyone in town seemed to know that this was happening and why (sheath the knives, no sinister story at all, he’s not well) journos were having a hell of a time getting people whose paycheck comes from the U.S. Treasury to confirm it. Best I can tell Ed Week’s Michelle Davis was the first to nail it down with a big story out today. This is a big hole for the administration to fill since Ed Sec. Spellings relied heavily on Luce and was sort of the de facto number two there. It’s also unfortunate timing for the Bushies since Kevin Sullivan is departing for the White House to run the communications shop there (which means that soon I should be getting an exclusive bloggy education interview with the POTUS which will prompt poor SEJ Russo to toss himself from a window) so they’re losing some key players all at once.
So, on the Luce matter, mixed metaphor inside baseball-horserace handicapping: Big loser? Secretary Spellings, she’s losing a key aide. Big winner? Russ Whitehurst. No secret there was no love lost there and some real disagreements about the interaction of research and policy.