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Politico reported this morning that Hanna Skandera, the Commissioner of Education in New Mexico, cannot be confirmed because of her advocacy for Common Core. Skandera is a protege of Jeb Bush. Although she has never been a teacher or a principal, she does have some practical experience in education, unlike DeVos. Skandera is also a proponent of high-stakes testing and VAM. Best not to give her the power to push Arne Duncan’s failed ideas nationally.
SCOOP: SENATE GOP SCUTTLES SKANDERA NOMINATION: Wondering when those Education Department vacancies will be filled? Well, the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education may still be up for grabs after the Trump administration recently reversed plans to nominate New Mexico Education Secretary Hanna Skandera for the assistant secretary job, POLITICO has learned. The administration’s decision to pull back an offer came after Republicans raised concerns about Skandera’s support for the Common Core standards. The offer appears to have been extended before Hill Republicans were consulted.
– “About a dozen Republican offices were skeptical that they could ever vote yes” on Skandera because of her embrace of the standards, said a senior GOP aide. Those English and math standards are reviled by conservatives as a symbol of federal overreach. Republicans also weren’t interested in another fight over an education nominee after Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ bruising confirmation process. Skandera, who sits on the governing board for the Common Core-aligned PARCC test, declined to comment.
– Skandera has about a year and a half left on the job in New Mexico and many believed that her extensive K-12 and higher education experience made her a good bet for a federal job. Continued lack of top staff at the Education Department could hamper the Trump administration’s priorities and ability to work with states on the Every Student Succeeds Act. “Hanna was as good a candidate as they were ever going to get and they do need someone of that intelligence and stature as part of that team,” said one advocate. Caitlin Emma has the story.