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Education Equality Project director departs, future in question

An education advocacy group launched by Chancellor Joel Klein and the Reverend Al Sharpton over two years ago has lost its director and faces an uncertain future.

Unveiled in 2008 in Washington D.C., the Education Equality Project was intended to influence discussion of education policy in the presidential election. (Remember those wars — manufactured or not — within the Democratic party?) It was also a way for Klein to broadcast his views on a national scale, much like former D.C. schools superintendent Michelle Rhee is doing with her new advocacy group, StudentsFirst.

After Arne Duncan was named Secretary of Education, EEP seemed to lose steam. Now comes news (via edReformer) that EEP director Ellen Winn is leaving for a job at 50CAN, where she’ll be in charge of expanding the education advocacy group’s work beyond Connecticut.

Winn’s departure was expected, said Democrats for Education Reform Executive Director Joe Williams, who is on EEP’s board, but the group hasn’t found a replacement for her yet. Williams said the board hasn’t met for several months.

“I think the board needs to get together to talk about the future of the organization, which they’re planning to anyway,” he said.

Not long after EEP’s launch, message gaps began to appear between Klein and Sharpton. Earlier this year, Sharpton was replaced with two chairmen: United Negro College Fund President and CEO Michael L. Lomax, and Janet Murguia, president and CEO of the National Council of La Raza. They, along with Klein, lead the group.

In talking about his post-chancellorship plans, Klein has said that he hopes to stay involved in education politics through EEP.

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