Tuesday, January 5, 2016

New education commissioner has interesting past

Posted By on Tue, Jan 5, 2016 at 1:26 PM

Richard Crandall
  • Richard Crandall
The Colorado State Board of Education has unanimously appointed a new Commissioner of Education, Richard Crandall.

Interestingly, Crandall was previously the Director of the Wyoming Department of Education before he was booted out of office by the Wyoming Supreme Court. Crandall was appointed in summer of 2013, following state legislation that took oversight of the education department from an elected superintendent (Cindy Hill) and gave it to an appointed director (Crandall).

But when she found herself stripped of her powers, Hill sued and won. Hill got her job back and Crandall was sent packing in summer 2014.

Crandall, a moderate Republican, also served as an Arizona state legislator from 2007-2013, where he was the education chairman in both the state Senate and House. Chalkbeat Colorado notes that Crandall "played a key role in ushering in major changes to education policy in Arizona, including backing the state’s adoption of the Common Core state standards and crafting a teacher evaluation law."

Chalkbeat also noted that Crandall is very aware of the challenges in Colorado, particularly around standardized testing. That challenge will only be greater because the nation's most important education law was recently rewritten to shift more power and responsibilities to states from the federal government. Chalkbeat notes:

Crandall signaled an openness to move Colorado away from the Common Core and its membership in PARCC, the multi-state testing effort. At the same time, he praised the importance of high academic standards and the value of comparing test results from several states.
The 48-year-old Crandall has also served a school board member and the president of Mesa Public Schools.

A press release also notes that:

[Crandall] is currently the president and founder of CN Resource, which provides oversight and audit services of USDA child nutrition programs for state education agencies. He is also the chief financial officer and partner of Crandall Corporate Dietitians, the nation’s largest provider of consulting dietitian services to long-term care and assisted living facilities. Crandall, age 48, is studying for a doctorate in education from Northern Arizona University and holds a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Notre Dame. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in accounting from Brigham Young University. He is a licensed school nutrition specialist and a certified public accountant. 
Crandall has seven children and six step-children. He replaces Robert Hammond, who retired last summer.

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