Count her in
Cheri Yecke wants to be Florida's next education commissioner. "The whole battle about standards and accountability was fought and won here a long time ago," Yecke told the Gradebook today. "Folks in Florida are moving forward in a very positive way. To me that is just so refreshing. I would like to stay here." Though she proved controversial in Minnesota, where she faced a successful opposition to her confirmation as education commissioner, she has fit more comfortably with the Florida reform model. Her resume reflects loads of experience - she taught for six years, served on the Virginia State Board of Education and as Virginia's secretary of education, and also worked in the U.S. Department of Education overseeing teacher quality and public school choice. Yecke says her past makes her a good fit for Florida: "I believe strongly in the reforms that have been put into place. I feel in the time that I've been here I've developed good relationships with the superintendents. I have a unique perspective in that I'm a former teacher. I understand the unintended consequences of reform. You cannot create policy in a vacuum." The State Board of Education hopes to replace John Winn, who leaves office this week, by the end of June.
Check back Saturday for a conversation with Yecke about high school reform.