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March 5, 2015

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Nine applications received for state’s top education spot

Former Sandoval advisor, current interim superintendent among those vying for the post

Nine people have applied to be state superintendent of public instruction, for which Gov. Brian Sandoval said he wants to make an appointment before the school year starts.

The deadline for the applications to be submitted to the state Division of Personnel and the governor’s office was Friday.

The first step in the process to replace James Guthrie, who left after a year on the job, will be for the personnel division and Sandoval's office to narrow the list to six, the governor said. Sandoval will not be involved in this step.

One of the applicants is Dale Erquiaga, former policy adviser to Sandoval who resigned more than a year ago to be with his family in Arizona. The governor said Erquiaga would go through the same procedures as the rest of the applicants; he will not be treated differently.

Also applying is Rorie Fitzpatrick, appointed by Sandoval as interim superintendent when Guthrie left.

Fitzpatrick, who has worked in education for more than 20 years and was deputy superintendent before the interim appointment, handled the budget for public schools during the Legislature, including money for limited English-speaking students and lowering the ratio of student-teachers in kindergarten.

Names of the other applicants were not available.

The names of the six finalists will be forwarded to the state Board of Education, which will recommend three to the governor. The names of the six finalists will be announced July 15. The board is tentatively set to meet July 25.

Sandoval said he will personally interview the top three and make a decision.

The job pays $124,908.

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  1. Wait, so Erquiaga, who already quit his Nevada job working for Governor Sandoval to move to Arizona, and who has no education background other than working for the CCSD government affairs division, now wants to return to Nevada to be our state superintendent? What happened to wanting to be near his kids (which was the reason he gave for moving)? What happens when he decides he wants to be near his kids again? More importantly, what happened to the notion of actually having a background in education before taking the helms of one of the most diverse, fastest growing school districts in the country?

  2. Dianne Ravitch, the author of NCLB who later withdraw her support due to the failure of the government to properly fund and implement it said:

    "Bill Gates is wrong. Education is not broken. The federal education policy is broken. Testing children until they cry is wrong. It is education malpractice."

    Yes. There has to be accountability.