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Andy ‘Eduwonk’ Rotherham To Leave EdSector

By Michele McNeil — September 14, 2009 1 min read
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Andy Rotherham, one of the Godfathers of education blogging and a co-founder of Education Sector, is giving up his day job this spring.

He’ll be leaving EdSector, which the organization’s other co-founder, Tom Toch, announced he did about six months ago.

But never fear, Eduwonk fans. The blog will live on, Rotherham says, although it will likely be re-branded once his future becomes more clear.

Rotherham, who confirmed his departure after I called him to bug him about a rumor I’d heard, said he has several career options and plans to stay in the Washington, D.C., area. Though he wants to work on broader issues, Rotherham—who worked on education issues under President Clinton and served for four years on the Virginia Board of Education—says he’s not leaving the education space and is committed to working to “dramatically transform our system of schools.”

EdSector plans to officially announce the news tomorrow. (UPDATE: Read the official press release here.)

Rotherham, 38, an avid fly fisherman and the father of two young daughters, told me that he’s ready for something different. It will be very interesting to see where Rotherham, an oft-quoted education expert who has an extensive policy portfolio, lands. After all, the Washingtonian magazine in 2007 declared him one of the “40 under 40" people to watch.

At one point, lots of people speculated he was in line for a top job in the Obama administration at the U.S. Department of Education, and there was enough talk to even spark a letter-writing campaign against him by some of his critics. Alas, he didn’t join the department.

Rotherham and Toch (who is an EdWeek alum) founded EdSector five years ago as a hybrid group “formed at the intersection of research, public policy, and journalism.”

What does this mean for the future of EdSector? “It’s a challenge,” he said, “but it’s one the organization is well-positioned to meet.”