Get sick, get well
Hang around a ink well
Ring bell, hard to tell
If anything is goin' to sell
-- Bob Dylan

Monday, November 24, 2014

Ritsch leaves Dept. of Ed for TFA after serving as Duncan's clean-up man

“I don’t think anyone in the country has done more over the past 15 to 20 years than Wendy Kopp to identify the talents and characteristics that lead to great teaching” -- Arne Duncan on Ritsch's new boss.
Massie Ritsch
The revolving door between Arne Duncan's D.O.E. the corporate-reform industry keeps turning. Now Duncan is sending his second communications chief in two years, out to work for the school privateers. Massie Ritsch, the acting assistant secretary for communications and outreach, is leaving his job to take a new position Executive Vice President of Public Affairs and Engagement for Teach For America.

Valerie Strauss at the Washington Post reports that TFA has been popular with the Obama administration for years, evidenced by the the millions of dollars it has won from the Education Department in recent years and by the praise heaped on it by the secretary himself.

Ritsch's D.O.E. connection should help TFA keep the cash pipeline open and flowing.
Ritsch had served as deputy assistant secretary for external affairs and outreach at the department until late 2012, when he took over for Peter Cunningham, who had been assistant secretary for communications and outreach from the start of the Obama administration.

Writes Strauss:
A mark of just how effective Cunningham had been from the start of his tenure was his success in persuading Rolling Stone magazine to put Arne Duncan on the 2009 list of the 100 top “Agents of Change.” Duncan was No. 98, but still ahead of Taylor Swift, who was No. 100.
I do have to tip my cap to Ritsch for one thing. He was the scrubber at the D.O.E. who had to clean up after many of Duncan's mouth poops. Like when Arne claimed that criticism of Common Core was coming from, "White suburban moms upset that Common Core shows their kids aren’t ‘brilliant’".

Bank on Taylor Swift to surge ahead of Duncan without Ritsch and Cunningham there to spin things. And look for TFA's Wendy Kopp to possibly decorate the next cover of Rolling Stone.

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