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Who will be Florida's next education commissioner? Two views

With Eric Smith's departure looming, the Florida Board of Education has set a May 25 deadline for hopefuls to apply for the job.

Despite the draw of the chance to lead Florida's education movement, considered in many circles to be at the forefront nationally, there's been little buzz over who might take over.

Board member Akshay Desai of St. Petersburg is among those who expects the state to find a star.

"I am very confident we will have very many qualified candidates," Desai told the Gradebook. "This is a very prestigious and very attractive position."

Former board chairman T. Willard Fair of Miami, by contrast, argued that Florida already had the star it needed. His poor treatment by the Rick Scott administration likely will scare off the best talent, Fair contended.

"I think anyone with any sense would not apply for the job," he told the Gradebook.

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