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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

(Updated) Susana Martinez Picks Outsider Hanna Skandera to Head Public Education

Skandera Note: This post has been updated with additional information gathered on Hanna Skandera
According to an AP article, Republican governor-elect Susana Martinez will nominate Hanna Skandera of Dallas to serve as New Mexico's Secretary of Public Education.

Skandera served as Florida's deputy commissioner of education from 2005 to 2007 during former Governor Jeb Bush's administration and "implemented reforms at middle schools and high schools that were aimed at improving accountability and giving incentives for high academic performance while ending social promotions."

The article says Skandera's more recent experience was as a senior policy adviser at the U.S. Department of Education. Skandera was charged with the goal of reauthorizing the Federal No Child Left Behind Act as laid out in President Bush’s 2007 State of the Union Address, as well as other duties.

Skandera, 37, also has served as education undersecretary for California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and as education policy adviser during Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign.

This past August, when Skandera was named Chief Executive Office of Laying the Foundation, Inc. -- a national teacher training program for teachers of English, mathematics and science in grades 6 through 12 -- a news release discussed her experience in more detail. She assumed that post this past September. The release mentions that, "A prolific author, she [Skandera] has written, edited, and coauthored numerous books and papers while a research fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution. She also taught at Pepperdine University's Graduate School of Public Policy."

The Hoover institution is a prominent conservative think tank whose major issues include: education reform that centers around private school vouchers and charter schools, dismantling affirmative action, privatization of social services, "flat tax" and other tax reduction schemes, deregulation of industry, Reagan's policy legacy, and "character education." Hoover is well-known for its influential role in developing President Bush's economic policy.

Skandera earned her bachelor’s degree in business from Sonoma State University and received her master of public policy from the Pepperdine School of Public Policy in 2000.

According to a Pepperdine University blurb, from 1993 to 1998 Skandera led the development and expansion of a peer education program for the Catholic Charities organization. She also served as vice president of a local Republican Women Federated organization, board member and board president of New Creation Home, a teenage mother’s home, and as member and volunteer of the Palo Alto University Rotary Club and Belle Haven Elementary School. She has also been the assistant coach for the women’s track and field and cross country teams at Sonoma State University.

Here are links to articles written by Skander with Richard Sousa, in the Hoover Digest, including one that praises "school choice," i.e. school vouchers. She's also an advocate of "linking teacher pay to performance."

Skandera's Facebook page lists several activities including Mighty Men AllianceSuccessful Christian Living Ministries (SCLM) and One Testament.

December 21, 2010 at 02:50 PM in Education, Right Wing, Susana Martinez | Permalink


Well, at least she's not gay or anything ... right?

Fall down on your knees New Mexicans and PRAY for SM's deliverance to the National Republican Stage(tm).


Posted by: JimSinTaos | Dec 21, 2010 4:04:55 PM

I don't see anything about a husband or children listed about her so who knows-maybe she is gay. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Right Heather Wilson?

Posted by: Jokester | Dec 21, 2010 4:42:07 PM

School vouchers, destroy teacher unions, testing as the main goal, right-wing Christian, connected to Bush family and Texas. My god New Mexicans I hope you like who you voted in.

Posted by: Susana La Tejana | Dec 21, 2010 5:13:45 PM

Whoa, those Facebooks "activities" are something.

Posted by: Sean | Dec 21, 2010 6:16:06 PM

Hold on to your butts. It looks like a fundamentalist Christian is taking over our schools. Creationism or book burning or more abstinence only anyone? Texas textbooks big buy as teachers take a hit.

Posted by: qofdisks | Dec 21, 2010 6:33:15 PM

All I care about is what she can do for our kids. For years,the town of Bernalillo's middle school has had a reputation of being bottom of the barrel yet no one does anything about it. Everyone I know is afraid to send their kids there and cannot afford the cost, much less the drive, to private school. I'm counting on you Hanna!!

Posted by: Atomic Mom | Dec 21, 2010 7:04:08 PM

Florida's grade 12 NAEP scores were below average in Reading and Math, one of 3 states to hold that distinction. Our ACT and SAT scores are also near the bottom but our dropout problem ranks near the top. Our state faces a lawsuit due o low funding levels and failure to make education a paramount duty of the state. Why would NM want this for their students?

Posted by: Florida Speaks | Dec 24, 2010 3:04:57 AM

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