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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Who wants to be Florida education commissioner?

We ran a blog post with the same headline back in July 2007, three weeks before the deadline for that job search arrived.

That time around, six candidates -- including one who made the finalist pool -- already had cast their resumes into the ring. The search firm, Proact, had launched a web site designed to keep the public informed as applications arrived, as part of its agreement to fully follow Florida's Sunshine laws. (Proact had misgivings about making the search too public for fear the best candidates would not apply -- but it complied.)

This time out, Proact didn't get the job. And all we've received so far is three names and a variety of assertions that search firm Ray and Associates has reached out to hundreds of possible aspirants to run Florida's education system. But none of those top recruits has decided to jump in early. Not even an assistant principal or hospital executive or retired teacher has sent in an application on a lark.

Just crickets, and assurances from the the DOE that the quality applications will arrive on May 25 -- this Wednesday. Count on it.

Our question: How do they know? 

We wonder, will we ever see all the applications, or just those that Ray and Associates gives to the State Board of Education? And then, when will those be made public -- before the June 1 scheduled interview date, or after? Have people been discouraged from applying? (Of course some have been encouraged to apply. Wonder who they are, too.) Granted, searching for a pro is no easy task, but neither is following Florida's Sunshine laws.

We have seen in the past both can be achieved simultaneously, though.

Our calls to Ray and Associates since the search began have gone unreturned. So we can only say, stay tuned to see what happens next.

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 24, 2011 10:03am]


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