Expect this post to be updated throughout the weekend.
In the background, KSN&C is reviewing any, and hopefully all, public utterances made by the finalists. Small items may be added here as issues surface. In the end all relevant material will be posted separately by candidate. For Cheek, 66 articles were reviewed. 118 articles were reviewed for Cross Maple. 257 articles reviewed for Sentance, and 281 articles were reviewedfor Holliday. Stay tuned.
(FRANKFORT, Ky.) – In a special-called meeting Thursday, the Kentucky Board of Education continued its discussion of candidates for the position of commissioner of education and narrowed the field to four finalists.
The four are:
Dennis W. Cheek, Ph.D. – Cheek is currently senior fellow at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation (A non-profit foundation with assets of $2 billion whose vision is to foster "a society of economically independent individuals who are engaged citizens, contributing to the improvement of their communities" focusing on advancing entrepreneurship and improving the education. Think robotics & charters.) in Kansas City, Missouri, a position he has held since May 2009. (He was a finalist for the Commissioner's position in Missouri last week until Hazelwood schools superintendent Chris Wright was selected.) Cheek’s previous experience includes: vice president of education for the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation; vice president for Venture Philanthropy Innovation and managing director for Templeton Venture Philanthropy Associates (This from Slate Magazine; and this) at the John Templeton Foundation (A "philanthropic catalyst for discovery in areas engaging life’s biggest questions," with roughly $1.5 billion in assets Templeton gave $70 million in grants in 2007.) in Pennsylvania; senior consulting professional at the Science Applications International Corporation (a FORTUNE 500 scientific, engineering and technology applications company with numerous federal, state, and private sector clients; in 2003, was 9th largest defense contractor in the US.) in Tennessee; director of the Office of High School Reform, Research and Adult Education at the Rhode Island Department of Education; project coordinator at the New York State Department of Education; and elementary, middle, high school and university teacher. He earned bachelor’s degrees from Towson University (history/secondary education ) and Excelsior College (Biology - And where he now serves on the President's Advisory Council); a master’s degree from University of Maryland Baltimore County (History); and doctorates from Pennsylvania State University (curriculum and instruction/science education) and the University of Durham (theology).
Terry Holliday, Ph.D. – Holliday is currently superintendent of Iredell-Statesville Schools in Statesville, North Carolina, a position he has held since 2002. (Holliday addresses district issues directly with the public through monthly articles in the Charlotte Observer - including a fuss with county commissioners who play a role is setting tax rates for school construction, staffing concerns, closing the achievement gap.) During his tenure, the school district received the 2008 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. (In 2003, 04 and 05 he was trained and served as a Baldridge competition judge...a similar strategy worked for him as a band director.) Holliday’s previous experience includes: superintendent of the Transylvania County school system in Brevard, North Carolina; associate superintendent and director of accountability for Rock Hill School District 3 in York County (where he implemented a "zero tolerance" policy for serious student misbehavior), South Carolina; principal, assistant principal and director of instrumental music for Fort Mill High School in Fort Mill, South Carolina (In 1986, his Fort Mill Band was invited to march in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade following applications in 1983, 84 & 85.); and band director at Northside Junior High, Parker High and Gaffney High in South Carolina. Holliday’s work as a school administrator led to the closing of achievement gaps and marked improvement in graduation rates and other student achievement measures. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Furman University (Music Education); a master’s degree (and Ed Specialist Degree, both in Ed Admin) from Winthrop University; and a doctorate from the University of South Carolina (Ph. D. Ed Admin). (From the district website: Holliday was named Superintendent of the Year for Western North Carolina in 2002; N C Supt of the Year by the NC Music Educators Association in 2008, and was recognized by the NC Public School Forum as a Jay Robinson Leadership Award finalist in 2007. Holliday was recently named 2009 A. Craig Phillips North Carolina Superintendent of the Year by the North Carolina School Boards Association and the North Carolina Association of School Administrators. Since Aug 2008, he blogs! Claims, Top 20 performance on state testing; Top 25 in AYP among NC districts; Top Ten SAT Scores in NC; Achievement gap closed by over 40%; Dropout rate decreased from above 10% to 4.5%.) (2008 Baldrige Award recipients respond to questions submitted by the audience during the 2009 Quest for Excellence conference. Holliday begins about 2:33 in.)
(Holliday's Keynote 24:31)
Catherine Cross Maple, Ph.D. – Maple is currently deputy cabinet secretary (the #2 position which carries most of the load, 7 divisions, 500 staff, and also puts her over charter schools, high school redesign and college readiness) for the New Mexico Public Education Department, a position she has held since 2004. (In 2008, Cross Maple was a finalist for the Commissioner's position in Ohio.) Maple’s previous experience includes: assistant secretary for New Mexico Vocational Rehabilitation (a division of the New Mexico Public Education Department within her current cabinet); strategic planning officer (built district's 1st system for public reporting of data), director of Organizational Planning and Development and director of Student Support Services for Albuquerque Public Schools (served as charter school liaison and under pressure, backed off a plan to charge home-schoolers a $20 fee), New Mexico; CEO and executive director for the YWCA of Albuquerque; coordinator of Project Outreach for the University of New Mexico; and teacher for Washoe County Schools and the University of Nevada. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Montana State University; a master’s degree from the University of Nevada, Reno; and a doctorate from the University of New Mexico. (Likes Block scheduling)
Michael Sentance (left, in photo) – Sentance most recently was the Secretary’s Regional Representative at the U.S. Department of Education (under Margaret Spellings during G W Bush (R) Admin), a position he held from 2001 to January 2009. Sentance’s previous experience includes: senior education advisor to the Governor of Massachusetts (under William Weld (R), Paul Cellucci (R) & Jane Swift (R)); Massachusetts secretary of education (under William Weld); director, Massachusetts Governor’s Legislative Office (under Weld); Massachusetts assistant attorney general; and legal counsel for the Office of the Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts (under Thomas P O'Neill III (D)- Tip's son). He earned a bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University (American Studies); a juris doctorate from the Duquesne University School of Law; and a master of laws degree from the Boston University School of Law. (Video from the Pioneer Institute) (2007 Audio from NHPR: Windows Media MP3 )
Sentance Comments on blogs:
(This retort to Politics K-12: "Your comment about the Massachusetts graduation rate demonstrates how little you understand about state accountability systems.
Massachusetts already has an 81% completion rate. Which is in the top tier of states."
Posted by: Michael Sentance March 27, 2009 3:57 PM)
(...and on Flypaper: Michael Sentance: May 22nd, 2009 at 9:16 pm I think that we’ll see that there will be rules — and then there are waivers. Or “flexibility”. In the case of MA, I would expect the charter cap to continue but a determined effort to have the faux-charter schools (”Readiness schools”) to be counted as increasing the number of charters in the state.")
(Boston Globe - Wednesday, May 14, 1997 - Sentance ... erupted at a recent Concord youth soccer game, verbally abusing a referee at least 20 years his junior with such ferocity that he was ejected from the game and subsequently suspended for the season.)
(Boston Globe - Saturday, November 23, 1996 - Sentance is a former Democratic activist, organizing for Gary Hart's and Al Gore Jr.'s presidential campaigns in the 1980s. )
“The diversity of the pool of candidates for this position was excellent because of the extensive outreach,” said Kentucky Board of Education Chair Joe Brothers. “Narrowing the pool has been challenging, because the candidates represented many opportunities for leadership in Kentucky.
We’ve selected these four based on their state and national education policy work, state and national recognition for their accomplishments in education, national foundation leadership, executive-level experience outside of education and work with executive and legislative branches of government. The board will continue its verification of credentials and research into all four candidates, and we look forward to meeting with them again next week.”
During the search, the board and Greenwood/Asher & Associates, Inc. made over 300 contacts, reviewed detailed information on approximately 80 individuals and interviewed 12 candidates. The board will meet with each finalist separately on July 8 in Frankfort.
The board welcomes public input on the four finalists. Comments may be made to any board member, in person or by telephone. Contact information for the board members is available here.
SOURCE: KDE press release