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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Two thumbs up for Eric J. Smith



two_thumbs_up.For what it's worth, two Florida Board of Education members -- Kathleen Shanahan and Roberto Martinez -- want Eric J. Smith to continue to be the state's education commissioner.

We don't know whether Smith's job is in jeopardy; we haven't heard anything to suggest that. But it's a question that comes up frequently given that Florida's new governor has his own strong ideas about education reform and soon will be appointing three of the BOE's seven members.

"Eric Smith has been a key leader and advocate for the reforms" that have helped push Florida's education system in the right direction, Shanahan, who served on Scott's transition team, told the Gradebook. "I hope that the new governor and his team, after spending time working with Eric ... come to that same conclusion."

"I think the governor doesn't know Dr. Smith," Martinez said. "As he gets to know him, he'll realize how good and effective he is."

"To my knowledge, (Smith) has the strong support of the BOE," he continued. "I would hope the governor would also see that he's the right man for the job."

The commissioner is hired by the BOE. But that didn't stop former Commissioner John Winn from being shown the door shortly after Charlie Crist took office in 2007.

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[Last modified: Monday, January 17, 2011 1:22pm]


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