ECS, which is based in the Mile High City, rotates its chair position between Republicans and Democrats every two years. Hickenlooper, a Democrat, will take over after he is sworn in as Colorado’s governor later this month. He will replace former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, a Republican who is considered a likely candidate for his party’s presidential nomination in 2012. As chair, Hickenlooper will provide advice and leadership to ECS on education policy issues, help lead its conferences and forums, among other duties.
As mayor, Hickenlooper backed efforts to try to improve Denver’s schools, such as its implementation of a teacher pay-for-performance plan, which he supported. He entered politics after crafting a successful business career as an enterprenuer, most notably as the developer of a brewpub. ECS President Roger Sampson suggested that Hickenlooper’s business acumen could guide policymakers “at a time when states continue to struggle to do more with less,” given severe budget shortfalls.
Photo: John Hickenlooper, right, visits with Democratic senators at the capitol in Denver, Colo., in November. By Ed Andrieski/AP.
A version of this news article first appeared in the State EdWatch blog.