I will protect your pensions. Nothing about your pension is going to change when I am governor. - Chris Christie, "An Open Letter to the Teachers of NJ" October, 2009

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Our Fearless Leaders

The panel in charge of selling NJ's Race To The Top to Ed Secretary Arne Duncan has been announced. Leading the group are:

Bret Schundler, Commissioner of Education

Teaching Experience: None
School/District Administrative Experience: None
Educational Research Experience: None
Other: Apparently, less than one year as the "COO" of King's College, a school that hires professors without advanced degrees and is located in the Empire State Building.

Andrew Smarick, Deputy Commissioner of Eucation

Teaching Experience: None
School/District Administrative Experience: "Co-founder and board member of KIPP Harbor Academy," which, near as I can tell, closed after less than three years. Doesn't appear to have done anything having to do with the day-to-day operation of the school.
Educational Research Experience: None
Other: Cut his political teeth in the Bush 43 administration.

Daniel Gohl is a former teacher and principal who appears to have staked his career on school turnaround, and is now based in Newark. He started a technology high school in DC that students must be admitted to; looks like he left one year after getting a full student body in place. He has fully embraced the education-industrial complex and their vocabulary.

I can't find much of anything about Rochelle Hendricks, except she's a big charter proponent and is overseeing conversion of a Catholic high school in Patterson to a charter.

Willa Spicer is a real-world educator with plenty of experience in education policy.


  • A politician
  • A political operative
  • A former principal turned consultant who embraces the "turnaround" philosophy and the notion of tracking students
  • A charter cheerleader
  • Someone eminently qualified to make education policy.
I think we have a pretty good idea, based on this, as to what our RTTT application will contain. 

By the way: would it have killed anyone to put a current public school teacher or principal on this team?

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