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Education Commission of the States' President to Retire

In the rush of Democratic National Convention coverage, I have neglected until now to mention that on Sept. 7, the Education Commission of the States announced that its president, Roger Sampson, will retire by the end of 2012. A search to replace him is underway, ECS announced in a statement.

In case you aren't aware, ECS produces a steady flow of in-depth reports and other information on a variety of education policy issues across the 50 states, from 3rd-grade reading retention and the use of technology in early education, to the various school finance mechanisms used throughout the U.S. If you're ever looking for a policy expert who has done deep digging into the minutiae of what individual states are up to, ECS also has a stable of such folks ready to help.

Sampson became ECS president in 2007. Previously, he served as the Alaska Commissioner of Education and Early Development, a position he was appointed to in 2003 by the state school board.

The announcement of Sampson's retirement means that 2013 will be a big transition year for the Denver-based ECS. In addition to a new president, Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval, a Republican, will take over as the next chairman of ECS next year for Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, a Democrat.

"Roger's exceptional leadership brought together education innovators and focused on advancing key issues in schools everywhere, including early childhood literacy, teacher quality, and the role of technology in the classroom," said Hickenlooper, in a Sept. 7 statement.

Two state lawmakers, North Dakota Rep. Rae Ann Kelsch and Wisconsin Sen. Luther Olsen, both Republicans, will conduct the search for Sampson's replacement, along with Tom Horgan, president and CEO of the New Hampshire College & University Council. All three are members of the ECS Executive Committee.

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