Ted Sanders will step down as the president of the Education Commission of the States in January.
The Denver-based policy-research organization announced Mr. Sanders’ resignation last week on the eve of the group’s annual conference, scheduled for July 13-16 in Orlando, Fla.
“Ted’s accomplishments in his five years as president have strengthened the organization’s focus, its relationships with partners, and its infrastructure,” Gov. Mark Warner of Virginia, the bipartisan group’s outgoing chairman, said in a July 8 news release announcing Mr. Sanders’ planned departure. “We are in a solid position to move ahead with a change in leadership,” added Mr. Warner, a Democrat.
Mr. Sanders said that he intends to stay involved in education policy. “After almost 45 years in the field, its time for me to spend more time with my family and to reflect on what I’ve learned,” Mr. Sanders said in the news release.
He has held high- level posts in state and federal government. He was the No. 2 official at the U.S. Department of Education under the first President Bush. He also served as the chief state school officer in Nevada, Illinois, and Ohio.
Before being named to the ECS post in 1999, he was the president of Southern Illinois University in Carbondale.
The next ECS president, according to one state official, will have to balance the political and executive agendas of the group’s membership, which is composed of governors, state legislators, state board of education members, and chief state school officers.
‘A Big Tent’
“Because ECS is a big-tent organization in terms of its membership, that’s a real challenge for the next president,” G. Thomas Houlihan, the executive director of the Council of Chief State School Officers, said in an interview last week. “It’s something you constantly have to think about.”
The ECS has hired a firm to search for Mr. Sanders’ successor and hopes his replacement will be named in the fall, according to Gov. Mike Huckabee of Arkansas, a Republican and the group’s incoming chairman.
A version of this article appeared in the July 14, 2004 edition of Education Week as Ted Sanders Announces Resignation As ECS President