LAS VEGAS (AP) — The Nevada Board of Education eliminated one candidate on Thursday for state education superintendent, opting to consider three people familiar to Nevadans over a contender from Massachusetts.
The remaining candidates are interim Superintendent Rorie Fitzpatrick; Gov. Brian Sandoval’s former adviser Dale Erquiaga; and Rene Cantu Jr. of the Latin Chamber of Commerce Community Foundation.
The names now go to Sandoval, who is expected to announce a decision by the end of the summer. The next superintendent will replace James Guthrie, who abruptly resigned in March after a year on the job.
Board members decided against considering Michael Sentance, the former secretary of education in Massachusetts, largely based on his opposition to the Common Core State Standards, the Las Vegas Sun reported.
Nevada is among 45 states that have adopted the new academic standards involving a more rigorous curriculum and computerized test.
Sentance argued that Nevada should develop its own standards and stood behind his decision to oppose the Common Core standards in Massachusetts.
“There’s not a lot of evidence that shows Common Core is successful,” Sentance said.
Board members said they wanted someone who supported Nevada’s policy.
“Common Core is how we’re moving forward,” board member Stavan Corbett said, according to the Sun. “It’s important to have a spokesperson who owns it.”
Fitzpatrick was deputy superintendent before taking over as interim head of the department when Guthrie departed. She represented the Department of Education throughout the legislative session.
Cantu was one of three finalists for the state superintendent’s job last year and served briefly on the Clark County School Board to fill a vacancy.
Erquiaga left a job as senior adviser to Sandoval in 2012. Previously, he was a deputy secretary of state and former government affairs director for the Clark County School District. He is currently interim executive director of the Arizona Humane Society.
The upcoming choice will mark the second superintendent appointment by Sandoval, who was given authority in 2011 to name the state’s top school chief. Before the 2011 legislative session, superintendents were appointed by the state Board of Education.
Information from: Las Vegas Sun, http://www.lasvegassun.com