Jason Glass, the Director of the Iowa Department of Education, was selected Wednesday night to become the Superintendent of Eagle County Schools in Colorado. His first day in Colorado will be on July 1. Glass will be going back to familiar school district since he served as their Director of Human Resources from 2007-2010. It will also mean a pay increase as Glass made $147,000 in his position as Director. The Superintendent’s position was listed at $175,000.
Glass was selected from a pool of six candidates and three finalists in a search conducted by the Colorado Association of School Boards. Glass, and other finalists, Karen Brofft and Don Johnson, interviewed with the school board and two advisory committees on May 16.
“Director Glass has fundamentally raised the bar for education leadership at the state level in Iowa. When you have a visionary state director of education like Director Glass, it’s not surprising that others would want someone of his experience and talent,” said Rosie Hussey, President of the Iowa State Board of Education. “Director Glass has worked tirelessly to lay the groundwork necessary to restore Iowa’s standing as a leader in education and to prepare all students for success after high school. Together with the Governor’s office, Director Glass constructed bold education reform plans that are right for Iowa and are based on lessons learned from the highest-performing education systems in the world.”
The Des Moines Register noted:
Glass has been a key player in Gov. Terry Branstad’s efforts to improve the state’s schools since arriving in Iowa in December 2010. His efforts were a crucial part of the bipartisan education reform bill approved today by state lawmakers. The plan’s centerpiece is a new career pathways structure for K-12 teachers that would cost $160 million annually once fully implemented.
Glass traveled the state to meet with parents and students during his time in Iowa. He also advocated at the Statehouse for higher academic standards and debated the latest education research with friends and foes alike on the micro-blogging site Twitter.
I was one of those “foes” that Glass debated on Twitter, and speaking personally I wish him well in this new chapter of life. I’ll reiterate what I wrote at Iowans for Local Control when news broke about him being a finalist for this position.
While Director Glass and I haven’t see eye to eye all the time, I do appreciate his approachability and willingness to engage in conversation and debate. I also appreciate the Department’s approach to the educational liberty items in the current education reform bill. Under previous leadership with the Culver administration we would have seen the Department lobby against homeschooling and private school measures. That hasn’t been the case the last two sessions and I credit Director Glass’ and Governor Branstad’s leadership for that.
The Register reports that Governor Branstad’s spokesperson, Tim Albrecht, said that no decision has been made on the process for selecting a new director.
I’d like to offer my sincere congratulations to Director Glass in his selection as Superintendent of Eagle County Schools. He is a top notch candidate and will, I’m sure, be an asset to their school district. They will find in Glass a Superintendent who is approachable, innovative, and passionate about education. While I didn’t always see eye to eye with Director Glass on issues like the Common Core State Standards and assessments; I appreciated his willingness to dialogue, his innovative approach to education reform and his willingness to dialogue with those whom he disagreed.
I would like to encourage Governor Branstad to hold a public, transparent search for a successor for Director Glass that includes parents, private and public school educators, and community stakeholders. Branstad sought a ‘real reformer’ in Glass’ selection, I hope he will continue to think outside the box in his next appointment. I also ask that Governor Branstad will use this interim time and leadership transition to take a step back and reconsider Iowa’s implementation of the Common Core State Standards, as well as, other standards that will only further centralize education and erode local control.