Pam Stewart, Florida’s education commissioner who stuck by the state’s rigorous and controversial accountability system amid dramatic federal changes, has announced that she will resign in early January .
The state’s board of education extended Stewart’s contract for an entire year before last month’s mid-term election, but Gov.-elect Ron DeSantis, a Republican, has been said in recent days to want someone else to fill the position. Florida’s state board appoints the education commissioner.
After the federal Every Student Succeeds Act was passed in 2015, Stewart, who was hired in 2013, promised to hold fast to the state’s accountability system, to which she attributed gains on national rankings. That move outraged the state’s large English-language learner community, which argued that many of the provisions in the new federal law would ultimately push schools to better serve ELL students. What resulted was a bifurcated accountability system. The state this year will issue a federal report card and a state report card.
Kristen Amundson, the president and CEO of the National Association of State Boards of Education has predicted there will be almost two dozen new appointed and elected state education chiefs taking charge in the next six months, many of them fueld by turnover in governorships and state boards.
A version of this news article first appeared in the State EdWatch blog.