I Knew Joe, Joe Was a Friend of Mine, and You’re No Joe Marinelli!

14 08 2007

The candidate still standing who I know best and think the most of,  is Dr. Joseph Marinelli.  I remember watching the tv series finale of M*A*S*H in a Hilton hotel room with him and another highly respected Florida education professional, during our annual legislative encampment back in the 1980s.

If we simply MUST have a state school boss, we could do worse than Joe.

(From what I read and hear, that worst would be done by naming Yecke!)

Seven applicants, including retired Hillsborough superintendent Earl Lennard, have made the first cut in the hunt to become Florida’s next education commissioner.

The State Board of Education picked the finalists today, following the recommendations from Proact Search president Nancy Noeske. She presented the list based on candidates who met the July 23 application deadline. The board refused, on a 4-3 vote, to accept any late filings, including a current US Department of Education high level official and the head of the Florida Association of District School Superintendents.

Those who remain are:

· Lennard, who retired as Hillsborough superintendent two years ago and currently works with the state workforce innovation programs.

· Cheri Yecke, Florida’s current K-12 chancellor who previously headed the education departments in Virginia and Minnesota.

· Jim Warford, Yecke’s predecessor as chancellor who currently heads the Florida Association of School Administrators.

· William Moloney, recently retired Colorado education commissioner.

· William Harner, deputy to the CEO of the Philadelphia school system.

· Joseph Marinelli, a regional superintendent in the New York State education system.

· Eric Smith, senior vice president for college readiness, the College Board and former superintendent of Anne Arundel (Maryland) public schools.

The board plans to interview the candidates on Sept. 17-18. To see the finalists’ resumes, visit the search website here.

“Now How Do I Improve The SECOND Teacher?”

14 08 2007


From Mike Antonucci:



Teacher Quality Enhanced by Hiring More Teachers?

Washington Post reporter Michael Alison Chandler suggests a significant amount of the No Child Left Behind Act’s professional development funding isn’t being spent wisely or well. Chandler cites U.S. Department of Education statistics that reveal about half of the federal teacher quality money was used to hire teachers to reduce class size.


So, I have a teacher, and I want to improve his/her quality. The federal government gives me money, and I hire another teacher. Eh, OK.

Now how do I improve the second teacher?

Method Acting One Mom at a Time, Never Mind the Village

14 08 2007

It’s a good feature about adoption (especially by celebrity moms like Angelina and Madonna) but this New York Magazine feature makes me think about education. Like adoption, alternatives to regular school used to seem shameful and second-class, if not shocking.

Even to otherwise liberal thinkers?

But now there’s a “huge wave of alternatives” for Thinking Parents in education as well as adoption, and choosing among them is about love and family empowerment, not about being desperate and anti-social — all sorts of families opt to not do traditional school for their own good reasons, despite social taboos and cultural strictures.

In so doing, we help create new family portraits, new kinds of family and parenting, maybe a whole different world.

And whatever language, legal, health or other problems may be scattered through the script, well — write your own scenes and that will make all the difference. 🙂

Aronson sees a new demographic shift on the horizon:
“Now more than ever, there’s a huge wave of very different kinds of adoption: people with great wealth and education and an awareness of the globalization of life. People adopting children who don’t need to have any more children. Those people are waiving all kinds of social taboos, and the picture is being changed by your well-to-do, idealistic, more lefty-type people: black children into white homes, from Africa, Asia, Taiwan.

This is optional family-making. By families who are not desperate.”