The Florida education department has been kind enough to send along several more batches of applicants for its education commissioner position. Among the 18 additional names I've received since my last blog post, probably the most interesting from a national education policy perspective is Dane Linn, who is executive director of state policy at the College Board, which oversees the SAT college-admissions exam and the Advanced Placement program in curriculum and testing.
Before moving to the College Board, Linn worked as director of the National Governors Association's education division. While there, he oversaw an initiative that you may be familiar with: the Common Core State Standards. The NGA worked with the Council of Chief State School Officers (a group that Linn, albeit indirectly, is now seeking to join) to develop the common set of academic expectations in English/language arts and math for all students, and 46 states and the District of Columbia have adopted the standards. The NGA and CCSSO began working on the standards in April 2009. Linn began working at the College Board last January. The new president of the College Board, by the way, is David Coleman, a lead architect of the standards.
Florida has been aggressive in raising standards in what it says is preparation for the common core standards, getting ready for 2014-15 when the new assessments based on the standards are first administered. Could the state at that time have one of the common core's founding fathers leading its K-12 schools? And does Linn, who represented governors to congressional members and others, have a particularly good rapport with Florida Gov. Rick Scott, a Republican? (Linn worked as the West Virginia education department's coordinator of special education programs for seven years before moving to work at the NGA in 1997, according to the resume he sent to the Florida department as part of his application.)
I've contacted Linn to ask him to comment, and will update you if and when I hear from him.