C.J. Prentiss

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C.J. Prentiss

C.J. Prentiss is an Ohio activist.

Jesse Jackson

In 1984 C.J. Prentiss was an Ohio official of the Jesse Jackson for President campaign.

"Progressive" Cabinet "nominee"

In September 2008, Chicago based socialist journal In These Times asked its editors and writers to suggest their top progressive choices for a potential Obama Cabinet.[1]

We asked that contributors weigh ideological and political considerations, with an eye toward recommending people who have both progressive credentials and at least an arguable chance at being appointed in an Obama White House.

This group of people would represent at once the most progressive, aggressive and practical Cabinet in contemporary history. Of course, it is by no means a definitive list. It is merely one proposal aimed at starting a longer discussion about the very concept of a progressive Cabinet—and why it will be important to a new administration, especially if that administration is serious about change.

Barbara Miner suggested C.J. Prentiss for Education Secretary:

An African American from Ohio, C.J. Prentiss has the background needed to confront the key tasks of any education secretary: maintaining a focus on student achievement, closing the achievement gap and mobilizing a broad constituency to demand reform beyond the current emphasis on teaching children to fill in bubbles on standardized tests.
For more than a quarter-century, Prentiss has been a legislator, policy-maker and community activist adept at building bridges among diverse groups. She currently heads a new initiative by Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland to increase the state’s graduation rate for African-American males.
Prentiss began as an organizer in the ’80s, working on literacy campaigns in housing projects. She went on to serve 15 years in the Ohio legislature, rising to become the Democratic leader in the Ohio Senate. For eight years, Prentiss also headed the Education Committee of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators.
She has developed initiatives that put into practice oft-stated goals of investing in children, involving parents and community, changing teacher practices, and closing the achievement gap. She demands more of teachers and schools, but refuses to scapegoat them: a delicate balance essential to any meaningful reform.
Because education is primarily a state responsibility, such a background will serve Prentiss well as education secretary.