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Commissioner searching: A little on the search firm, and on possible candidates

We recently reported that the search for a Florida education commissioner has generated no applicants yet.

Brian Burgess, spokesman for Gov. Rick Scott, took issue with the suggestion that the job has not proven a draw.

He tells the Gradebook that Ray and Associates has been in contact with 207 potential candidates, and that so far two are in the process to be officially considered. He named Bessie Karvelas, a former principal he listed as deputy chief instruction officer for Chicago Public Schools, and Carlos Lopez, superintendent of the River Rouge, Michigan, school district.

There's also been some speculation that Paul Pastorek, who has guided Louisiana's touted education reforms since 2007, might pop up as an applicant following his resignation today, as the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports. The Lafayette Advertiser reports that Pastorek is taking a job in the private sector.

Searches by Iowa-based Ray and Associates have had varied results.

Collier County officials are thrilled with the outcome of their recent search, which turned up Miami-Dade educator Kamela Patton for the top job.

The Kentucky Board of Education, by contrast, was fuming after its 2007 state superintendent search with Ray left them looking really bad. From the Courier-Journal:

"Barbara Erwin's resignation just days before she was to take over as Kentucky education commissioner was the capstone to what critics say was a botched search that should have eliminated the controversial superintendent long before she was offered the job."

Still waiting to see how this one turns out.