Utah and New Mexico Pass A-F school grading

March 19, 2011

(Guest Post by Matthew Ladner)

The New Mexico legislature approved a proposal to grade schools A-F by a wide bipartisan margin late last night, providing a key reform win for Governor Martinez.  Utah passed a similar measure last week. Governor Sandoval has made school grading a key feature of his education agenda in Nevada, and Arizona passed the measure last year.

The Appalachia of the 21st century prophecy is not taking us here in the Southwest without a fight. At least, outside of California. Someone get Jerry Brown on the line stat!

Susana Martinez appoints Hanna Skandera for NM Education Secretary

December 21, 2010

(Guest Post by Matthew Ladner)

Governor-elect Susana Martinez of has nominated Hanna Skandera to lead the Department of Education in New Mexico. Skandera served as Deputy Commissioner in Florida during Jeb Bush’s time in office, and Governor-elect Martinez campaigned on implementing reforms based on the Florida reforms during the campaign. An outstanding choice, and a great signal that Governor Martinez is very serious about reform.

2010 Election Results…big edu-implications

November 2, 2010

(Guest Post by Matthew Ladner)

Republicans take the U.S. House but the Democrats manage to hold the Senate. Paging Dr. Gridlock…

I just heard Larry Sabato just predict that as many as 10 state House chambers will switch from Democratic majorities to Republican majorities. The Indiana House is one of those chambers, giving Governor Mitch Daniels Republican majorities in each chamber.  Wisconsin may follow suit. Ditto for Ohio– where Kasich is now Governor elect, and Republicans recaptured a House majority and added to their majority in the Senate.

Not all the news is bad for the Democrats, most notably Harry Reid’s victory in Nevada. The majority leader’s son Rory Reid however fell short in the Nevada Governor race against Republican Brian Sandoval. This was an especially interesting race from an education angle, as Sandoval called for Florida reforms, and Reid proposed weighted student funding. Sandoval read Reid’s education plan, and declared that it was a good plan, so he was going to do it and the Florida reforms.

Susana Martinez will be the nation’s first Latina governor after winning the Governor’s office in New Mexico. Governor-elect Martinez platform also incorporated Florida reforms.

Speaking of Florida, the Governor’s race there between Democrat Alex Sink and Republican Rick Scott is very close. Current Florida Governor Charlie Crist is close to being very unemployed. Illinois governor’s race is also neck and neck.

Jerry Brown has won in California over Meg Whitman. Pray for him- the Democrats now control all the levers in Sacramento. The USA will never make progress moving up the education tables with California hanging as an a huge academic albatross around our neck.

Time to sleep. More later.

UPDATE 19 state legislative chambers flipped to the Republicans including full control of Pennsylvania to go along with IN, OH and WI and Michigan. Very tough night for Midwest Dems.

P.S. Republican Rick Scott has narrowly won the Florida governor race.