Education reform: eight school chiefs to watch in 2011

Education reform will be on many state education agendas across the nation in 2011. The past year saw Republicans elected or appointed to top state education posts in many states. But a bipartisan group of veteran education leaders has also stepped up to call for more dramatic change in how schools operate.

Here’s a sampling of state education leaders to watch:

1. Jason Glass, Iowa

John Gaps III/The Des Moines Register/AP
Jason Glass addresses the media in Des Moines, Iowa, Wednesday.

Appointed to be the new director of the Iowa Department of Education by Gov.-elect Terry Branstad (R), Jason Glass is a former teacher and school administrator. In Eagle County, Colo., where he was human resources director, he helped bridge divides when the school system set up a merit pay plan for teachers, the Des Moines Register reports. He now wants to bring that experience to bear on how teachers in Iowa are evaluated and paid.

Overall, he says, he wants to “allow for greater innovation in schools.... That happens by not imposing greater central control on schools, but actually freeing up local school districts to try new things,” he told the Register.

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