(Promoted by Colorado Pols)
POLS UPDATE: Chalkbeat Colorado:
Neal’s departure comes at the same time as education Commissioner Robert Hammond is preparing to leave the department. He announced his retirement, effective later this month, in late April.
The composition of the seven-member board and the tone of its meetings changed after new members elected last November took their seats in January.
The new members were Republican Steve Durham of Colorado Springs and Democrat Val Flores of Denver. Neal, a Republican from Grand Junction, was re-elected to a second six-year term last November.
Neal was elected chair in January. Democrat Angelika Schroeder of Boulder was elected vice chair, something that didn’t sit well with the board’s three other Republicans, Durham, Pam Mazanec of Larkspur and Deb Scheffel of Parker. The vote for vice chair was by secret ballot. Because there are only three Democrats on the panel, one Republican – presumably Neal – voted for Schroeder.
The Paper That Shall Not Be Named reports that Marcia Neal, chair of the state Board of Education, has announced her resignation effective July 31. In her resignation she calls the current board “dysfunctional” and their recent decisions “baffling”. She also cites health concerns that are making it harder for her to fully participate.
From her resignation letter:
Past protocols were very effective with regard to communicating and the sharing of information. Those protocols are now largely ignored by several board members.
She also writes that the Board is spending little if any time discussing how to improve our schools, and is being held hostage to “both the far right and far left who share the same goals of no standards, no accountability, and no teacher quality efforts”.
The scariest part IMHO: a Republican vacancy committee (CO-03 BOE) gets to choose her replacement. My guess is they’ll choose one of those far right types, like freshman board member Steve Durham, who would rather pick 100 people out of a phone book than have a selected group of subject matter experts determining what is important in our social studies testing.