Idaho's Luna named education policy adviser to Romney, along with four who gave to Luna's 2010 campaign

Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna is among 18 policy advisers announced by the Mitt Romney presidential campaign. The Idaho Republican Party issued a news release Thursday about Luna's appointment.

“I am excited to work with Governor Romney to improve education across the country,” Luna said in the news release. “As Governor, he showed how states can truly put students first and raise academic achievement for all children. We have worked toward the same goals in Idaho, passing the most comprehensive education reform in the country to ensure every student can graduate from high school and go on to postsecondary education without the need for remediation. Now, we must make this is possible for every child in every state.”

The Romney campaign announced the 18-member advisory group Tuesday.

Joining Luna are three former members of the George W. Bush Administration who contributed to Luna's 2010 reelection who are advocates of for-profit education. Luna was a senior adviser to Bush Secretary of Education Rod Paige, who gave $500 to Luna. Paige was named a special adviser to Romney. Paige is formerly a senior adviser to Madison Education Group, which is run by his former No. 2 at the U.S. Department of Education, Bill Hansen.

Hansen, the son of former Idaho GOP Congressman George Hansen, was named one of two higher education co-chairs for Romney. Hansen gave $3,000 personally to Luna. Madison Education Group, of which Hansen is CEO, gave another $2,000 to Luna. Hansen is a former chairman and president of Scantron/Global Scholar.

Nina Rees, senior vice president for strategic initiatives for Knowledge Universe, is one of two K-12 co-chairs. Rees gave Luna $500.

Scott Fleming, president of Madison Education Group, joins Luna on Romney's advisory committee. He gave Luna $100 for the 2010 campaign.

Luna raised $47,550 from the for-profit education sector, accounting for 19 percent of his 2010 campaign's funds.

The complete Idaho GOP news release follows:


Boise, ID – Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney has named Idaho’s Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna as a member of his Education Policy Advisory Group. The group is composed of individuals with deep and diverse experience in a variety of roles across K-12 education, postsecondary education, and workforce training in both the public and private sectors.

“I am proud to announce the support of this impressive group of policy leaders who are devoted to expanding educational opportunities for students,” said Governor Romney. “Our education system is failing too many of our kids, and I look forward to working closely with these leaders to chart a new course that emphasizes school choice and accountability, the importance of great teachers, and access to quality, affordable higher education."

Superintendent Luna was selected because of his extensive experience in K-12 education at the local, state and federal levels and because of his work to improve Idaho’s education system, culminating in the passing of the most comprehensive education reform laws in the country, Students Come First, in 2011.

“I am excited to work with Governor Romney to improve education across the country,” Superintendent Luna said. “As Governor, he showed how states can truly put students first and raise academic achievement for all children. We have worked toward the same goals in Idaho, passing the most comprehensive education reform in the country to ensure every student can graduate from high school and go on to postsecondary education without the need for remediation. Now, we must make this is possible for every child in every state.”

On Wednesday, Governor Romney outlined his education policy agenda. He called for dramatic reforms that will expand parental choice, invest in innovation, and reward teachers for their results. Governor Romney’s vision is in line with Students Come First, the education reform efforts currently being implemented across Idaho.

One example is how he will work toward recruiting and rewarding great teachers in K-12 schools. Governor Romney’s plan would remove the barriers to talented individuals entering the teaching profession and offer rewards and incentives for great teachers currently in our public schools.

In Idaho, we are implementing a statewide pay-for-performance plan this year as part of Students Come First to recognize and financially reward Idaho’s great teachers and leaders to ensure the best and the brightest stay in the classroom, where they are needed most.

The Idaho Legislature appropriated $39 million in new money to be distributed to Idaho’s teachers and building principals next year in performance bonuses. At least 85 percent of educators will participate in some form of a bonus.

Teachers can earn bonuses for working in hard-to-fill positions, taking on leadership duties, or working in a school that raises student academic growth. The bonuses based on student achievement will first be awarded to entire schools or groups of teachers working toward a goal in Fall 2013 and continue every year going forward. The bonuses for hard-to-fill positions and taking on leadership duties are individual bonuses and will first be awarded in the 2014-2015 school year and continue every year going forward.

For more information on Governor Romney’s education plan, visit For more information on Students Come First, visit

You can follow Idaho Statesman Politics on Twitter.

1337886476 Idaho's Luna named education policy adviser to Romney, along with four who gave to Luna's 2010 campaign Idaho Statesman Copyright 2014 Idaho Statesman . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Uh oh...

Looks like education will be available to only the wealthy and the wealthy will become more wealthy if Mitt has his way.

And you think the our children being the 25th best educated on this planet, just wait. Somalia's children will surpass ours if Mitten Romneski becomes president.

Where did American education rank

before the advent of the self serving teachers unions such as the AFT and NEA and the imposition of "touchy feely" subjects and content to the curriculum? Answer. Quite a bit higher.

Your questions is rank.

hmmm...The NEA is over 150 years old... The AFT, nearly 100...and I don't think there was a system to rank education. A blind swipe at teachers unions, and a major fail.


"The AFT, the AFL's creation to combat the company-union NEA, organized for years in urban school systems. Early on, their biggest base was in Chicago, but the Ocean Hill-Brownsville strike in New York City put the union on the map. Led by ALbert Shanker, the 1968 teacher's racist strike against the black community made the AFT infamous among minority workers, famous among the mostly white teaching force. In brief, AFT struck against attempts to integrate the teaching force in minority schools. In a perverse way, the AFT won the strike.

With more than 500,000 members, making it one of the larger unions in the AFL-CIO, AFT's base is mostly urban, indeed, most heavily New York state. The AFT membership reflects its urban focus. Since the economic collapse is greatest in the cities, AFT had to confront issues only peripheral to NEA. On the one hand, the possibility of rebellion is far greater in urban areas and teachers hold potentially powerful positions. On the other, tax revenues and other resources are minimal in the cities. The governing class needs more and can pay less."- Google "Albert Shanker, AFT" or "Albert Shanker, Socialist organizer"

You also left out that while the NEA was once a Progressive (in the sense of Left Liberal organizations) professional association of teachers (most of whom had a two year Normal School degree), it became collective bargaining agent for public public employees (school teachers) focused on salary, work rules retirement benifits and health insurance.

Pretty jealous I see?


You fry wants with that?

Not really-

However, I pass wind in your general direction and you mother eats elderberries.

She's too sexy for your car.


You fry wants with that?

ARE rank.


You fry wants with that?

Union Goon

Unions are destroying education. No government employee should be allowed to join a union. It is contrary to the public good. Viva Wisconsin!

The IEA is more than 100

The IEA is more than 100 years old. Please call any Boise school and ask to meet their Boise Education Association rep. I assure there is no group more dedicated to helping students than they are. Every teacher knows what they are signing up for when they go to college for 4 to 6 years to become a teacher. A self serving person would have switched their major the first semester. Or you could just keep repeating completely wrong information that you know nothing about.

Teacher's Unions Should Be Self-Serving

You point is not wrong. Teacher's unions is an outgrowth of bad political dictates. They have to band together to have a fighting chance. There should be no doubt about that. If you had some nut job politician like Luna at the state level and Bush at the federal level force feeding their political solution to education down to the school level, you'd do the same.

I don't know why we're all trying to kid ourselves about that issue. The union exists because politicians without any real clue try to pacify their voting demographics / political party leadership by changing something.... anything....for the sake of change alone. Luna doesn't know how to analyze the latest cutting edge thoughts on education. He's a politician, a lackey for Butch Otter. He doesn't care about education; he's just marking his time until Butch and the boys tell him it's his time to move up the ladder.

By the way, I'm not saying political solutions aren't just as good as technical (education trained) solutions. They need to work together, but Luna totally didn't solicit a partnership - he took the heavy handed politically expedient approach of trying to kill the teacher's. He knows they aren't a political animal and, in Idaho, quite frankly, there's a very large anti-public education movement anyway.

Come one, let's all just be honest about what's really going on. We keep playing this silly blame game, when the well has been poisoned by political dictates for a long time.

I'm not pro-union, I can't stand unions, because they reflect upon bad management. When you see a union, take a look at the management & that's where you'll find the problem. Don't kid yourself.

When Romney loses..

When Romney loses, will he take Luna away with him??
Please, pretty please?

"Looks like education will

"Looks like education will be available to only the wealthy" What do you you think we have now?

At least Mittens let us know up front...

that he doesn't care all that much about public education.

This surprises me.

So what happens when we get rid of Luna and policies. Hard to believe the Romney staff didn't do a lot more due diligence on what the people in Idaho actually think of this character. To me this is a real 'shot in the foot' thing.


Well either they didn't do the research or they did but didn't care enough about Luna's reputation in Idaho for them to work with someone else. This is going to be interesting for sure.

November Vote Decided

Being a moderate Republican I like to slowly make my decision on who to vote for until something makes it obvious that's the guy or that's not the guy.


He may as well named Jeb Bush in charge since Luna doesn't have an original thought and only proposes what's been approved by the for-profit-education system people.

Not necessarily a fan of Obama and his legacy grab with health care, but at least I know he's not out to have my tax dollars pay to have kids attend private schools.

If you are a parent you want to be in an affluent or poor school, they get more $$ either tax wise or federal, have lower class sizes and etc. Middle income schools are screwed in the funding landscape.

I just...

I just threw up. Luna use to sneak into varsity basketball games at Meridian High so he didn't have to pay an entry fee and now this guy could be an education policy adviser to Romney. Lemmings > Republicans.


If Luna is among the best and brightest that Romney can come up with, he's worse than I thought possible. For god's sakes Luna doesn't even have a real college degree. He is nothing more than a corporate shill. Sickening.

The cool thing is Mitt isn't

The cool thing is Mitt isn't the Republican nominee yet! Ron Paul is still a possibility.

More Red Bull and Happy substances, whiskey for my horse.


You fry wants with that?


What does one Mormon Corporate Puppet say to the other Mormon Corporate Puppet?

You're hired.

Whatever happened to the like button?

Great comment, I love it Mr. Parasite!

That's for the STORY, not the posts.


You fry wants with that?


Yep all it takes is magic underwear

Isn't the magic supposed to be inside them?

Some women would never tell you...


You fry wants with that?

I thought it was...

Is it lunch time yet?


You fry wants with that?

awesome...just awesome

awesome...just awesome

Not good!

There went Mitt Romney's chance of getting my vote!

Mine, too!!

This definitely makes it a NO for Romney.

One more reason to not like Romney

He wants less regulation on Wall Street - meaning ending Dodd-Frank and Sarbanes-Oxley (does anyone remember the Enron fiasco?) so that the bankers can act even more wrecklessly, and now he selects someone who knows nothing about education (his mail order degree doesn't count) to be an education policy advisor? Two years ago I considered myself Republican leaning. Today I can't imagine voting Republican locally or nationally.

As if we needed another reason

to vote for Obama! I guess if this gets him out of Idaho, there's some positive in this bit of "news".

Romney must really want his ship to sink.

They are all on a ship of fools to nowhere.

Talk about NOT doing one's homework!

Dumbing it down, goes National with Mitt and Tom!

Obama wins Idaho??

With the way Luna handled our education in Idaho, could this hire sway Idaho Voters to vote for Obama??

Welcome to the Mormon Educational Industrial Complex

Is this the new Quorum of 18?

Preparation L

Wow, that's really gotta burn the IEA membership's 'roids up to see this!

The fact is, it takes vision and a comprehensive plan to reform education. Luna made it happen. The IEA not only hasn't reformed education...they've fought every attempt tooth-and-nail.

What vision?

Do you think Luna came up with his "reform" all on his own? Trust me, the IEA is laughing, it's not like this means anything positive for Romney.

That's kind of funny...

You see, when you look at all the ways the IEA attacked Luna's reforms one of the first things they claimed was that he didn't get input from the teacher's union. They also tried to make it appear, because he wasn't a teacher himself, that he wasn't qualified to reform education.

So, I guess from the IEA's perspective, Luna DID come up with the reform all on his own.


1. Luna is not an educator and never has been. The IEA did not make it appear that way, it is true.

2. There was no input from any of the stakeholders, this was decided by Luna and his campaign donors.

3. Luna did not come up with this plan. He copied it from Michele Rhee.

Luna is not a visionary, he is an opportunist. Had he truly been a visionary he would have come up with education reform that actually had the ability to reform education. But then again, the point was never to do that. Luna has his own agenda, and it has nothing to do with education or having a vision. Most Idahoans have figured that out. Thats why his joke of legislation will be repealed in November.

Sit down

before you hurt yourself. Every time you open your mouth about education, from your ignorance of Luna's copy-and-paste plan to your outrage at an automatically generated attendence letter, you demonstrate how little you know about education. I'm sure the IEA is excited about this. This just demonstrates even more that Luna is motivated by politics, and not what's best for the classroom.

Reform School Squirrels


You fry wants with that?

And what has Luna done?

Luna has totally done away with public education.

Maybe you should read the reforms for youself... obviously the public schools are still operating here in Idaho.

For now

The public schools are still running as of now.

In the next 5 to 10 years?? We'll see. There is a high probability that the quality will go WAY down and a good possibility that many of the school districts will cease to exist.

Is that Mr Luna's intent?? Good question.


Must be licking the dots on the blue paper.

He only does candy cigarettes.


You fry wants with that?


Luna does not have an original thought,vision, or a comprehensive plan. And as for fighting tooth and nail, there is nothing wrong with standing up for what one believes in.


are you kidding me? The only vision this clown has is of his own full pockets...this all about making money for his out of state rich 'buddies' including Milken the crook...whom Luna counts as 'his best friend'...all while sending my taxes, and your to the same out of state corporations. Who really only care for kids to the extent it lines their pockets. This is all about is just a red herring.

Lost my vote

Anyone who would have Luna on their team cares only for the dismantling of the education system as we know to a for profit enterprise. I have emailed Mitt to let him know that he lost my vote.