Monday, August 29, 2005

Minnesota hasn't given this much away to Florida since Super Bowl VIII

Posted by Craig Westover | 6:14 PM |  

Governor Jeb Bush Taps Yecke for
Florida K-12 Education Position

[For Floridians looking to evaluate their new Chancellor of Education, my column and interview with Cheri Yecke are found here and here. ]

Yecke leaves sixth district race

Blaine—Cheri Pierson Yecke today announced that Florida Governor Jeb Bush has invited her to play a lead role on his education team. Yecke will end her Sixth Congressional District bid to help implement Governor Bush’s reform agenda.

“I am honored to have been asked by Governor Jeb Bush to be such a significant part of his education team,” said Yecke. “It is therefore with deep regret that I announce that I will no longer be a candidate for Minnesota’s sixth district Congressional seat.”

“I will be forever grateful to the many people who have given me support in this congressional race. The volunteers and delegates who have worked for me, and the donors who have sent financial support, have served to create a strong and dynamic campaign. However, the opportunity to work for Governor Jeb Bush on an issue for which I am so passionate is an honor I cannot pass up.”

“The accomplishments of Governor Bush’s administration in the area of student achievement hold national significance. For example, since 1999, the percentage of black fourth grade students reading at grade level has increased from 23 percent to 56 percent. It is obvious that the Bush team is making significant progress in the area of academic achievement, and I am looking forward to being a part of that effort.”

“As I leave Minnesota for Florida, I look back on the educational accomplishments of the Pawlenty administration and am honored to have been a part of that effort,” said Dr. Yecke. “Repealing the Profile, creating new, rigorous academic standards, and establishing the state’s first comprehensive system of school accountability is a legacy of which to be proud.”

According to Governor Tim Pawlenty: “Florida is fortunate to have Cheri Pierson Yecke coming on board to lead their K-12 reform efforts. Her leadership in Minnesota provided strong and rigorous academic standards and the first ever statewide accountability system for schools.

“Dr. Yecke has a strong appetite for change and reform and has never been afraid to challenge the status quo. We are confident she’ll do great work in Florida.”

Dr. Yecke concluded: “There are a number of very strong and honorable candidates seeking the endorsement of the Republican Party in the sixth district. I wish each of them well, and am confident that the delegates to the convention will make a good decision to ensure that Congressman Kennedy’s seat remains in Republican hands.”

Yecke will start her new position in Florida in early October.
Kennedy v. The Machine adds --
As a footnote to this story, KvM can tell you definitively that not only does Cheri Yecke stand to be the next U.S. Secretary of Education should there be another vacancy during Bush’s second term, but that she will certainly serve in such a roll if one of the 2008 frontrunners for the Republican nomination, Senator George Allen, should achieve the presidency. Yecke served a senior role in Allen’s Education Department in the 90s and would do likewise during a would-be Allen Administration.[I wouldn't be surprised.]
Update:Republican Minnesota is the best source for following this story. My take on Yecke for Floridians looking to evaluate their new Chancellor of Education is found here and here.