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J. Erik Jonsson Ethics Award

Tom Luce

Tom Luce, a founding partner of the Dallas law firm Hughes and Luce, LLP (now K&L Gates), was appointed by President Bush on May 20, 2005, to the position of assistant secretary for the Office of Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development at the U.S. Department of Education; the Senate confirmed his appointment to this position on July 1, 2005.

Mr. Luce has held many key positions throughout his career. Appointed five times to major posts by Texas governors, including chairman of the Texas National Research Laboratory Commission, chief justice pro tempore of the Texas Supreme Court, and delegate to the Education Commission of the States, he is best known for his role as chief of staff to the 1984 Texas Select Committee of Public Education, which produced one of the first major reform efforts among public schools.

Mr. Luce was co-founder of the National Center for Educational Accountability (NCEA), sponsor of the Just for the Kids School Improvement Model, and chairman of the board for both organizations from their inceptions until 2005. He also founded Communities Just for the Kids. In 1995, Mr. Luce wrote Now or Never: How We Can Save Our Public Schools, a book that defined his education philosophy and outlined a preliminary plan for education reform. His newest book on public education, Do What Works: How Proven Practices Can Improve America's Public Schools, was published in December 2004.

Mr. Luce has served on the boards or as a guest lecturer at a number of schools of higher education, including the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard and the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas.

In addition, he has served on the boards of multiple community and charitable organizations, including the Texas Education Reform Caucus, the National Commission on Teaching and America's Future, Education is Freedom, the Foundation for Community Empowerment, and the Executive Committee of the Dallas Citizens Council, an organization comprised of CEOs of Dallas's largest businesses. Furthermore, the United States Senate appointed Mr. Luce a member of the Library of Congress Trust Fund Board.

An attorney since 1965, Luce received his undergraduate and law degrees from Southern Methodist University and has been honored with the SMU Law School and University Distinguished Alumni Awards.