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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

One month to go to apply for Florida education commissioner job



Florida's search for a new education commissioner is quietly taking shape as Gerard Robinson, who announced his surprise resignation earlier this summer, prepares to serve his final day.

The State Board of Education has taken advantage of a clause in its contract with headhunter firm Ray and Associates that gave the state a free new search if its recommended candidate from 2011 (Robinson) left within two years.

"Ray and Associates is doing the search," board chairwoman Kathleen Shanahan confirmed.

The company has posted some preliminary information on its website, including an application deadline of Sept. 27. The state board also has scheduled a conference call for the morning of Sept. 7 to talk about its progress.

"We are proceeding with the search," Shanahan said.

To this point, no names have been circulating publicly as to who might take Florida forward with its next wave of testing, which Gov. Rick Scott lately has been talking about. But some prominent education politicians from around the country, such as Rhode Island's Deborah Gist and Idaho's Tom Luna, have said they aren't interested.

Parent and education groups are watching keenly to see what direction the search takes, and if Scott and legislative leaders set a tone where a new commissioner can take a new direction with accountability efforts. Stay tuned.

[Last modified: Thursday, August 23, 2012 9:57am]


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