Could Warford be Crist's choice, too?
Gov. Charlie Crist talked up former Leon County Superintendent Bill Montford this week, shortly before the Jeb-stacked Board of Education decided not to include Montford on the short list for ed commish. So did the Jebbies snub Crist? Maybe. But Montford isn't the only candidate Crist has said nice things about, and apparently not the only one he encouraged to apply.
The Palm Beach Post reported in April that Jim Warford (left), a former K-12 chancellor in Florida, "appears to be the leading candidate" for commissioner. The story noted Warford supported Tom Gallagher in the Republican primary, but then continued, "Crist nonetheless believes Warford to be well-qualified for the job and a strong advocate for public schools." A subsequent Post editorial cited Warford's criticism of the former gov's ed policies and said, "Crist is right to be considering Mr. Warford for the top job of education commissioner."
Warford, who now heads the Florida Association of School Administrators, told The Gradebook this week that he applied "because the governor encouraged me to apply." He added: "But (Crist) also made it clear that he's committed to an open, transparent process and that he wants the best possible pool." So should Montford be in the pool, too? "The members of the state board are the only ones who get to make that decision," Warford said, adding that Montford is "a friend, a colleague and I have utmost respect for his ability."