People Watch

Ted Mitchell, Education Dept. nominee, has strong ties to Pearson, privatization movement

Ted Mitchell, the chief executive of the NewSchools Venture Fund, was nominated in October by President Obama to become the Under Secretary of the Department of Education. As the administration continues to reshuffle its team, and confront new regulatory challenges, some view Mitchell’s nomination as a move towards greater privatization. In the coming months, the Department of Education will release “gainful employment” rules to rein in for-profit colleges, an experiment in proprietary education that many see as an unmitigated disaster.

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Rodney Bowler named Henry County (Ga.) Schools Superintendent

Rodney Bowler, the assistant superintendent for administrative services in Henry County Schools, has been named to replace retiring Superintendent Dr. Ethan Hildreth.

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S.C. schools superintendent Zais will not seek re-election

Mick Zais, the retired Army brigadier general and Newberry College president, had pledged to serve no more than two four-year terms but is leaving after one.

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Former schools chief Tony Bennett finds new work with ACT

Former Indiana Schools Superintendent Tony Bennett is back in the public eye, helping to pitch a Common Core test to state education leaders four months after he resigned as Florida’s schools chief.

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Bellefontaine, Ohio schools hires new superintendent

Bellefontaine City Schools Board of Education members concluded its process of selecting a new superintendent during a special meeting Wednesday evening, during which a current Piqua City Schools administrator was extended a three-year contract effective Aug. 1.

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Maine school superintendent to step down in June

Kenneth Smith, superintendent of Millinocket Schools in Maine, will resign his position when his contract ends on June 30. “I believe I have done all I can to maintain a fine public school system and to move the system ahead,” Smith said in a letter to new school board Chairman Michael Jewers dated Dec. 4, in which he promised to work for an orderly transition to a new superintendent.

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Fresno Unified superintendent gets contract extension

Fresno USD Superintendent Michael Hanson will get an extra year tacked onto his four-year contract after getting a positive review by the school board. Hanson, whose contract was set to expire in 2017, will get another year on the job as a perk for getting high marks from six out of the seven school board members on his annual review.

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Anthony Amato, former New Orleans superintendent, dies at 66

Anthony Amato was the last permanent superintendent of New Orleans' public schools before the state intervened in 2005, and also ran districts in in Hartford, Conn., Kansas City, Mo., and Stockton, Calif.

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Four finalists named for Nebraska education commissioner

A former candidate for Lincoln Public Schools superintendent, a Massachusetts education advocate and two Nebraskans are vying to replace former Nebraska Commissioner of Education Roger Breed, who had held the post since 2009 and retired July 1.

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Alberto Carvalho named Florida's superintendent of the year

Carvalho, who has been Miami-Dade County Public Schools superintendent for five years, has been credited with turning around failing schools in the country's fourth largest district and narrowing the achievement gap.

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