Leading School Board Member and High-Stakes Testing Opponent Applies for Florida Ed Commish Post

You gotta hand to Rich Roach for chutzpah. Read this from Jeff Solochek in Gradebook:

Rick Roach, a veteran educator and Orange School Board member since 1998, has contacted friends to let them know he will apply for Florida education commissioner. He also asked them to back his candidacy, if they agree with his views.

“I have long been concerned with the direction of education in our state and I have been a very vocal critic as many of you know. So, I have decided to either stop complaining or step up and do something about it,” he wrote. “I feel I am highly qualified as my resume will attest, passionate about the job as my letter of application should show, and feel confident I could make a very positive difference for our children, the future leaders of Florida. Please read my letter of application and my resume. If you agree with me, it would help if you could write a letter of support.”

Roach has lately made headlines for his opposition to the FCAT, which was first discussed in a Washington Post column. Time will tell how his application for commissioner will be viewed. See his letter and resume attached below. His would be the 17th candidacy announced publicly so far. The State Board of Education earlier this week extended its search through November, to give top candidates more time to apply.

Roach has as much chance as I do to be education commissioner, but his move is pure genius. Roach knows that the Florida job isn’t drawing rock stars as the real ed commissioners – Jeb Bush and Patricia Levesque – call the shots behind the scenes. Either could torpedo Roach’s application with a phone call. But putting his name in the hat focuses attention on the disastrous stewardship of Bush and Levesque over Florida education policy.

Roach’s resume is not one to be dismissed out of hand. His experience as a teacher makes him credible with the state’s professional educators and his tenure as a school board member provides full insight into all current state policy. He could hit the ground running. But there’s no way that the powers that be will appoint someone who has already demonstrated the ability to effectively oppose their agenda.


About Bob Sikes

A long time ago and a planet far, far away I was an athletic trainer for the New York Mets. I was blessed to be part of the now legendary 1986 World Series Championship. My late father told me that I'd one day be thankful I had that degree in teaching from Florida State University. He was right and I became twice blesses to become a teacher in the late 1990's. After dabbling with writing about the Mets and then politics, I settled on education.
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