LINCOLN — Courageous. Visionary. Compassionate.
Nebraskans want a new state commissioner of education with these traits and more, according to a firm leading the search.
They want someone who would resist adopting the Common Core state academic standards — or prepare the state for the transition to them.
They also want a leader who can deal with issues surrounding diversity, poverty, high-stakes testing, recruiting great teachers, you name it.
The laundry list of public desires was presented Thursday to members of the Nebraska Board of Education, who will pick the replacement for retired commissioner Roger Breed.
The consultants gathered the information through interviews with employees of the Nebraska Department of Education, educators, policymakers and the public via an online survey.
Commenters' opinions varied from wanting to preserve the state's Midwestern values and culture to maintaining quality education in rural areas and backing away from pervasive standardized testing.
Officials with Proact Search firm also delivered a draft position profile to the board, outlining the duties of the commissioner and the minimum qualifications expected in candidates.
Board member Rachel Wise suggested the minimum qualifications as proposed would exceed what state law requires.
For instance, while the state requires the commissioner “have demonstrated personal and professional leadership in the administration of public education,” the proposed minimum qualifications called for candidates with at least 10 years experience in a public school administrative position.
Wise said setting more stringent requirements would limit the pool of candidates.