We're getting constant bulletins and gossip about who is going to be nominated for Cabinet positions in the Trump administration. There's one Cabinet position that we aren't hearing much about so far: Secretary of Education.

No, being secretary of education isn't as prestigious as being secretary of state (nothing is, except being president), but the Obama administration used this department to make sweeping changes. It was in the "once sleepy" Department of Education, Frederick M. Hess writes, that . . .

. . . Obama-administration officials handed down some of their most troubling decisions. It was here that Obama’s minions, wildly overreaching, did their best to shove the Common Core down the nation’s throat, told schools that they could no longer allow students to use locker rooms based on biology, pressed colleges to adopt lawless kangaroo courts in response to a nonexistent campus “rape epidemic,” fought to let federal bureaucrats dictate local school spending policies, and championed race-based quotas for school discipline.

So a great deal depends on the staffing of the Education Department:

The next administration will have the opportunity to either set things right or make permanent Obama’s unfortunate legacy. It matters immensely who leads Trump’s Department of Education. It’s not enough that the person support school choice or be a “reformer.” At least as important is that he or she stands ready to roll back Obama-era overreach, restore educational federalism, roll back regulatory creep, and fight the politically correct fever dreams of education’s liberal elite.

Since the president-elect is not a policy wonk, the choice of secretary will matter a great deal (okay, it's a department of dubious merit that has done more bad than good since being established by Jimmy Carter, but right now a leader attuned to the real needs of kids and their parents is needed to set right most recent transgressions).

Hess provides a ten-item litmus test for the nominee. It should be read by all who care about the fate of public education in this country. I've culled three that might be of particular interest:

A clear grasp of how egregiously the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights has overstepped its statutory authority, and an ability to forcefully articulate what the new administration needs to do about it.

A willingness to call out the political bias endemic to higher education. This means that the nominee will have publicly denounced efforts to stymie speech, disinvite conservative speakers, and casually brand conservatives as racists and xenophobes.

A willingness to enthusiastically champion all forms of school choice, and for all families. This means embracing not only charter schools, but also virtual schools, school vouchers, tuition tax credits, and education savings accounts. The nominee should see these innovations not as boutique programs for low-income families but as alternatives that benefit our education system overall.

The DOE is one swamp particularly in need of draining.