Jacqueline Jones -- Former New Jersey Early Childhood Head -- to Advise Duncan on Early Learning
Earlier this week Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced his appointment of several key Department of Education officials, including the selection of Jacqueline Jones as senior adviser to the secretary for early learning. Jones previously served in the New Jersey Department of Education as assistant commissioner for the Division of Early Care and Education.
The Department of Education has never had an assistant secretary or office of early childhood education — the early childhood programs it runs are scattered throughout different offices of the Department. Given the Obama administration’s expressed interest in beefing up the Department’s early childhood role and strengthening coordination amongst existing programs, many early education stakeholders have been curious to see how Duncan would staff the Department on early education, as well as who he would select for key roles. Since late last year, Barbara Bowman, who served as chief early education officer in the Chicago Public Schools under Duncan, has been serving as an adviser to the secretary on early childhood issues, but most observers did not expect her to remain in that role permanently. With legislation now moving in Congress to create a major new early childhood program within the Department of Education,
We think Jones is a strong choice for this role.
Most exciting to us, New Jersey has done more than any state in the country to advance PreK-3rd reforms that include not just high-quality pre-k but also fundamental changes in the early elementary grades and efforts to strengthen alignment between pre-k programs and elementary schools, so that they can build on and sustain the gains children make in high-quality pre-k programs. The Division of Early Care and Education that Jones oversaw in