UPDATE: The head of a local foundation has sent the State Board of Education a scathing letter about the two commissioner finalists, urging the board to launch a new search.
Tony Lewis, executive director of the Donnell-Kay Foundation (one of the funders of Education News Colorado) wrote:
…it is beyond comprehension to think that the State Board of Education spent thousands of taxpayer dollars on a search firm that initiated and finalized a national search that resulted in the selection of only two candidates – one of whom is the interim Commissioner and the other is within a 20-mile distance of your offices.
A candidate pool that is comprised of the interim Commissioner and a local Superintendent does not contain the necessary quantity, diversity or depth of background required in such a search to find an experienced and recognized innovative leader…although it is impossible to see into the black box of the search process to know how many candidates were vetted and included in the first candidate pool, it is clear that the result of two, local candidates does not speak well of the search firm nor of the expense for them. A search that results in such a limited pool of candidates should result in the search firm reimbursing the taxpayers or in the initiation of another search.
Here is the original post:
The estimable Checker Finn doesn’t think much of the State Board of Education’s two finalists to be the next education commissioner — acting chief Robert Hammond and Aurora Public Schools Superintendent John Barry.
…it’s a time for forceful reformist energy to carry Colorado a big leap into the future. And that also surely cries out for a bold move on the commissioner front, most likely an unconventional candidate from out of state, not conventional in-state veterans. If Colorado settles for such lackluster educational leadership as this pair of finalists would seem to indicate–all the more vivid when compared with ex-commissioner Dwight Jones–baby steps are the most one can hope for. Let’s hope they don’t turn out to be baby steps backward.
A hat tip to Peter Huidekoper, Jr. for the link.
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