Bush Taps Black Conservative for Education Department Post
President Bush has tapped another former president of the Center for New Black Leadership, a conservative group, for a post at the U.S. Department of Education.Bush has nominated Brian Jones to serve as general counsel at the education department. Jones was president of the Center for New Black Leadership from 1995 to 1997. An Oakland, Calif., resident, Jones also worked for former California Gov. Pete Wilson, a Republican. He currently is an attorney with a San Francisco law firm.The president also has nominated another former Center for New Black Leadership president, Gerald Reynolds, to become assistant education secretary for civil rights (see Black Issues, July 19). Reynolds succeeded Jones at the Center for New Black Leadership, where he served as president in 1997 and 1998. Reynolds’ nomination is drawing opposition from some civil rights groups that cite Reynolds’ past opposition to the use of affirmative action in college admissions.The Center for New Black Leadership is committed to color-blind equal opportunity, a spokesman for the organization says. It also believes, the spokesman added, that colleges and universities should not “discriminate against anyone” in the college admissions process.Education Secretary Dr. Roderick R. Paige, who is African American, strongly supports both appointments. Jones, he says, “brings to the department experience with a wide range of legal issues related to elementary and secondary education as well as higher education.”
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