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Ending the standoff over education reform

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By Sherry Robinson

Early in the legislative session, I got on the elevator with Hanna Skandera, whose name is usually modified by the word “embattled” and whose title, Education Secretary, has the appendage “designee.” Two little words say so much.
In the elevator, however, she was a state employee receiving the good wishes of another state employee.
“I think they’ll confirm you,” he said.
“Whether they do or not, I can still do my job,” Skandera replied with characteristic moxie.
We now know that after 10 hours of hearings, the Senate Rules Committee didn’t vote, and its chairman, Sen. Linda Lopez, D-Albuquerque, is on the receiving end of the same kinds of critical blasts Skandera endured.
Deservedly so.
Regardless of how you feel about her education reform, Skandera deserved an up or down vote. Period. She is the governor’s choice for the job, and unless some severe character flaw has come to light, the governor deserves to have her own people in the cabinet.
That said, I don’t think it makes much difference who is Education Secretary because the administration and Republicans are so far from consensus with teachers and Democrats that reform is in jeopardy.


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