Chris Ruszkowski Slated To Become The Permanent New Mexico Secretary Of Education… Weep For New Mexico…

In an article released today by the Albuquerque Journal, Christopher Ruszkowski was given the permanent position of New Mexico Secretary of Education.  For the past few months, he has been the Acting Secretary in the wake of Hanna Skandera’s resignation last Spring.  Of course, like in Delaware, the New Mexico Senate will have to confirm him.  According to the article, New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez may have been infected by the same bug former Delaware Governor Jack Markell had while he was in office:

“I’m confident that Christopher will bring the energy, enthusiasm and leadership needed to help New Mexico’s students succeed in the classroom,” Martinez said. “It won’t be easy. There are entrenched special interest groups in New Mexico that are dedicated to maintaining the status quo in education.”

As for Ruszkowski, he seems to still be stuck in the Race To The Top era where standardized test scores and grades for schools will lift our public schools out of their depths of misery:

Ruszkowski and the governor believe that state reforms like PARCC, school grades and teacher evaluations are driving improvement, such as a record high 71 percent graduation rate and increasing numbers of A and B schools.

Yawn… apparently Surfer Boy hasn’t learned much…  His comments were not ignored by the President of the New Mexico American Federation of Teachers though:

Stephanie Ly, president of the American Federation of Teachers New Mexico, said the state deserves “better than the lazy reformist sound bites of Christopher Ruszkowski.”

But the bit about Ruskowski’s extensive teaching career says it all…

Born in Chicago, Ruszkowski spent three years teaching in Miami and Boston schools through Teach for America, then received a master’s degree in education policy from Stanford University.

Yes, three years working for TFA seems to be all the experience you need to lead a state in education policy these days.  I weep for the future…

A tip of the hat to Matt Albright from the News Journal for sending out the tweet on the Albuquerque Journal’s article on this!

Pray For New Mexico! Surfer Boy Is In Charge Now!

If we could all take a moment of silence for New Mexico public education…

Thank you.  Earlier yesterday, I found out New Mexico’s Secretary of Education, Hanna Skandera, gave her two-week notice.  What I failed to recognize was who her replacement was.  As news trickled out to me, I found myself very concerned for public school educators in New Mexico.  Yes, the  former Race To The Top Delaware DOE darling, the Surfer Boy himself, is now New Mexico’s Acting Secretary of Education.  You heard me right folks, Christopher Ruszkowski is now in charge of New Mexico public education.

According to a U.S. News & World report article:

Deputy Secretary Christopher Ruszkowski will serve as acting cabinet secretary, Republican Gov. Susana Martinez said.

Teachers in Delaware will ALWAYS remember the Surfer Boy for his Human Capital and Component V contributions to Delaware education.  Shall we go on… the Delaware Talent Cooperative, his love affair with Teach For America, bringing Relay into schools, and so on.  Ruszkowski left the Delaware DOE last year when he became the New Mexico Deputy Secretary of Education under Skandera.  He had been the Director of the Teacher Leader and Effectiveness Unit at the Delaware DOE.

All I can say is this: New Mexico, what in the name of Breaking Bad are you thinking?  But then again, they had Skandera, the Wonder Girl to Jeb Bush’s, uhm, Captain Underpants?  But even Surfer Boy is connected with Jeb Bush as he took a fellowship position in Jeb Bush’s corporate education reform group, Chiefs For Change, about a year ago.  Rumor has it Skandera may take a job under U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.

It wasn’t long after I began this blog that I began writing about Ruszkowski.  You can read all the articles in THIS LINK.

A moment of silence isn’t enough for the teachers, students, educators, administrators, education bloggers, and hell, any taxpaying citizen in New Mexico.  Please continue praying for New Mexico.

Chiefs For Change Try To Give Viagra To Vergara Appeal Decision

A group of current and former State Superintendents, Secretaries, and Chiefs, as well as district Superintendents, wrote an Amici Curiae in Support of Petition to Review letter to the Honorable Tani Cantil-Sakauye, the Chief Justice for the California Supreme Court regarding the overturning of the Vergara verdict in April of this year.  This is not the same letter Diane Ravitch wrote about here.  This group consists of the following:

Dr. John Deasy: former Superintendent of Los Angeles Unified School District

John White: Louisiana Superintendent of Education

Hanna Skandera: New Mexico Secretary of Education

Dr. Steve Canavero: Nevada Superintendent of Public Instruction

Mark Murphy: former Delaware Secretary of Education

Kevin Huffman: former Tennessee Commissioner of the Department of Education

Cami Anderson: former District Superintendent for Newark, New Jersey Public Schools

Jean-Claude Brizard: former Chief Executive for Chicago Public Schools

Dr. Randolph Ward: San Diego County Superintendent of Schools

Note that all the individuals in red are currently Chiefs in Chiefs for Change, the Jeb Bush run outfit.  Does anyone really see that as a coincidence?  As Diane Ravitch pointed out earlier this year,

which was established by Jeb Bush to promote school choice, charters, vouchers, online charter schools, the Common Core, and high-stakes testing

There are very good reasons why so many of these people are “former” education leaders.  Cami Anderson resigned after students occupied her office as a result of her unprecedented charter school empire/public education destruction in Newark, NJ.  Mark Murphy resigned after he royally botched a priority school initiative and was given multiple votes of no confidence by union organizations and the state administrator organization in Delaware.  Kevin Huffman resigned in Tennessee as the Achievement School District continues to be a model of failure to be spread to other states.  Jean-Claude Brizard admitted he didn’t know how to do his job so he threw the Chicago public schools to the charter wolves with Bill Gates money.  Deasy, who resigned from the L.A. Unified School District, with lavish financial scandals and was last seen training district superintendents under the Broad fellowship training.

Should the courts listen to those who twist numbers for their own benefits in what they deem as a success while skewing words to label teachers as failures?  Who help to create the very conditions that have and do lead to pressure cookers for teachers in public education?  Who believe that corporate interference is the only viable solution to fix the problems in education?  Who believe that one size fits all high-stakes tests are okay but scream about civil rights and what happens to low-income children the next?  Who sign off on state accountability plans where children with disabilities have to “grow” three times more than their regular peers in an allotted time?  Who disrespect the parents that see through their smoke and mirrors and push laws to take away their rights?

I urge this court to look at this letter as the conflict of interest it most assuredly is and give it the same weight they would of a con artist on its last legs.  To read the full letter, please go here.