Education A State Capitals Roundup

Michigan Governor Seeks Chief’s Ouster

By Robert C. Johnston — January 25, 2005 1 min read

Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm of Michigan set aside any doubt last week about where she stands on the state’s superintendent of schools, Thomas D. Watkins.

“He needs to resign for the good of the state board, for the good of public education,” she was quoted as saying in a Jan. 18 article in the Detroit Free Press.

The Democratic governor added in the article that Mr. Watkins “is not providing effective leadership” of the education department.

Mr. Watkins, who was hired by the state board of education and took over the post in April of 2001, had declined to step down as of late last week. He was unavailable for comment, a spokesman from his office said.

Mr. Watkins, who has called for a review of the state’s school aid system, received a vote of support from Kathleen N. Straus, the president of the state board of education. In a Jan. 19 statement, she called Mr. Watkins an “excellent leader and administrator” who has received positive evaluations from the board for three years.

A version of this article appeared in the January 26, 2005 edition of Education Week