Tom Luna

I'm posting this because I don't believe Tom Luna is qualified to be the State Superintendent.

This is my research on Luna:

On the National Centers for Career and Technical Education (NCCTE) website, I found a video of Tom Luna giving a speech. The webpage that had the link to the video also had his biographical information listed.

Here is the link to the video & then look at his bio - same page.

"In March of 2003, Tom Luna was appointed by President George W. Bush to serve as Special Assistant to Secretary of Education Rod Paige. Mr. Luna served as a senior advisor to Secretary of Education Rod Paige, serving as the Director of the White House Initiative on Tribal Colleges and Universities. Currently Mr. Luna serves as the Executive Director of The Secretary's Rural Education Task Force. As Executive Director of the Task Force Mr. Luna is responsible for coordinating all of the departments efforts in rural America."
President Bush Appoints Diane Cullo as Executive Director of Advisory Board on Tribal Colleges and Universities (to show that an appointment to a position like this comes with a press release)

On his campaign website, here is Tom Luna’s bio

In March of 2003, President Bush appointed Tom Luna to serve as a senior advisor to Secretary of Education Rod Paige. Tom traveled the country on behalf of President Bush and Secretary Paige focusing on rural education and school choice, two issues that greatly affect Idaho.

This is an Idaho Statesman editorial on Tom Luna’s appointment. This news report calls him a 'special assistant' to promote No Child Left Behind. Notice how it says that he would be speaking around the country - but not in Idaho. I thought that was strange.

No candidate left behind? Tom Luna, the losing Republican candidate for state superintendent of public instruction, has a new and politically charged job as special assistant to promote President Bush´s “No Child Left Behind” act.
Idaho Statesman 2/13/2003

The discrepancies here piqued my curiosity so I spend the next several hours searching for any notices of appointments on the Federal Dept. of Education website. They always post appointment notices because it’s a big deal. I also searched the White House website to find an appointment or some evidence that he served as the Director of the White House Initiative on Tribal Colleges and Universities. I found the Initiative and the people who served - past and present but no mention of Tom Luna for anything.

The only reference I found for Tom Luna on the Dept. of Education website was this one press release.

"Attending Friday's meetings will be representatives from Montana, Idaho, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming. Chief state school officers, working with their governors, selected teams to attend the summit.

Opening Friday's event will be Tom Luna, director of the Education Department's Rural Education Task Force, along with Montana Superintendent of Education Linda McCulloch, Billings Mayor Charles Tooley and Montana State-Billings Chancellor Ron Sexton.

Susan Sclafani, assistant secretary for the Office of Vocational and Adult Education, will address a general session on the topic, "No Child Left Behind: Rural Implications for Accountability and Flexibility."

The article implies that Tom Luna was there as a representative of Idaho. How likely is it that Marilyn Howard would send Tom Luna - who supposedly is working for the federal department of education (no appointment found on the fed ed website) to represent Idaho at this conference?

At this point, I decided to check the Plum Book which is a listing of all appointments to federal positions.

The 2004 Plum Book lists him as a Special Assistant to the Under Secretary of Education Edward R. McPherson. Page 55 adobe Location Seattle Type of appointment SC - Schedule excepted The type of appointment for Luna is significant.

This is Ted McPherson’s appointment by Rod Paige. (Plum Book said that Luna worked for McPherson.

April 2, 2003 - Rod Paige unveils Rural Education Task Force

"Paige underscored his commitment to helping students who attend rural schools by announcing the formation of a high-level task force within the Department to help identify challenges faced by the states and school districts and to work with the caucus on finding solutions. He asked Deputy Secretary Bill Hansen, a native of Idaho, to chair the task force."

I went to and did another search and found this article -

APPALACHIA, January–December 2003

Found this - where he is claiming to be the Executive Director of Rural Education

That's all I found on the Dept of Ed and the Fed Gov. website.


Then I found the following:

Bill Hansen was the Deputy Secretary of Education. He was appointed to Chair the new 'Rural Task Force'. That was in April of 2003.

He appointed Luna to the task force.

He set up the task force - then resigned in June of 2003.

He came home and started a consulting company. The consulting company does guess what? [ drum roll please ] Helps rural school districts implement NCLB.

Paige Helps Unveil a New Rural Caucus; Names High-Level Task Force on Rural Education at Education Department

He asked Deputy Secretary Bill Hansen, a native of Idaho, to chair the task force.

Bill Hansen resigns in June

He has a consulting company that helps implement NCLB

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Two Things:

1) I would like to see Marilyn Howard's office contacted and quoted on this. I believe her office will be the most likely to comment on everything and will give the clearest picture.

2) Embed your links, please. [a href=" hyper-link here "]text that will make up hyperlink [/a] and replace the square brackets with greater-than, less-than brackets. :)

One more thing:

Good job. If at some point in the near future you would like to summarize everything you gather into an editorial, I'm sure we can find plenty of people that would be more than willing to assist/proofread or whatever.


Thank you for the offer but I specifically didn't want to write an editorial on this. I was hoping that somebody more high profile would take my research and write one but I didn't know who to give it to.

Politics be damned. I really don't want this guy elected. He won't serve the children of Idaho well. I think he is a useful idiot who isn't very bright and not very well educated.

Luna's education

Four years ago, Tom Luna was a dropout wanting to be Superintendent Public Education.

Now, he has a degree.

Heh. Right. While running his business, and taking a cabinet-advisory post from Bush and giving it the level of effort of Chertoff and Brownie, Luna managed to run up to New Jersey and knock of a Bachelor's degree.

And if you believe that, I've got a waterfall to sell you.

Truth is, Luna's degree is from a Life-Experience diploma mill in New Jersey. The Thomas Edison University of New Jersey gave him a degree in (drum roll) Weights and Measures.

(snark:) Yeah, I can remember taking Weights and Measures when I was a physics undergrad. And then advanced W&M as a senior. Then that quantum weigh-station design project I did as a grad student. Those were the toughies. (/snark)

Shortly before the primary, the Post Register was flooded with people talking about the prestige of this fine institution. I ain't buying. The college doesn't have a single resident faculty member. The faculty AND students use that thar' intar-web, if anything.

Still not convinced? I'll dig around and find the article that mentioned how a high-level *PAID* Bush appointee was rejected because their BS was from Tom Edison and their Master's was from a similar place in Wyoming. That one in Wyoming ended up being a converted Motel-6, again without a single professor on the campus.

Anyone that proclaims they value education shouldn't so enthusiastically short-cut the educational process. It's disrespectful, and Idaho deserves better.

From Reason magazine:

From Reason magazine:

Thomas Edison administers an external degree program for older students that gives course credits for life and work experience, with no required attendance. It has no resident faculty, no classrooms or library. The SAT is not required, and all applicants are accepted. It's a noncompetitive correspondence school.