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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

It was just a 'target deadline'



Admit it. When the Department of Education announced it would extend the deadline for folks to apply for the commissioner's job, you wondered in the back of your mind what was wrong with the list of candidates it already had. The decision did come 72 hours after the deadline had passed, after all, and it had some pretty high profile people on the list - ones who made the decision to put their names into the public eye on time, no less.

So who was the state holding out for?

"There is absolutely nobody that is being looked at and that this is being extended for," DOE spokesman Tom Butler tells the Gradebook.

Rather, the July 13 advertised deadline was simply a "target" designed to give Proact, the headhunter running the search, enough time to sift through the applications and make a recommendation to the Board of Education in August. When Proact president Nancy Noeske called the department on Monday and said she could go through more applications and still meet her August responsibility to the board, Butler says, "It was kind of an easy decision for us." (One that did not require State Board action, he adds, since it never officially adopted the July 13 deadline.)

"This is a very serious and very high profile position, and the state is making sure they have a large enough pool of candidates to make sure we get the right person," Butler explains. "I don't think it means that any of the candidates in there are not desirable. ... There are some qualified people in there. What's the harm in having more qualified people in there?"

If the July 23 deadline passes and Proact offers to extend again, he says, there's nothing to prevent that from happening again.

Want to learn more about the existing candidate pool? You can review all the resumes here. To see the Gradebook's past coverage, click here.

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 9:19am]


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