Farewell to Cheri Pierson Yecke

Cheri Pierson Yecke, 2004 (Photo: NARN)As one of Cheri Pierson Yecke's appointees to the Academic Standards Committee for Social Studies, I had the rare privilege and opportunity to work with and get to know Minnesota's former Commissioner of Education. She led her department through a stormy period of change and innovation with vision, courage, and grace, and was rewarded for her efforts with some of the most hateful personal attacks in recent memory, topped with an ingnominous late-night termination of her employment by the DFL-led Minnesota Senate.

As Yecke assumes her new post as head of the Florida Department of Education, may I be among the first to congratulate Floridians on their new Chancellor. I encourage them to look forward to greatness from their public schools, and to strong leadership that puts the academic growth of students above all, even above politics.

King Banaian said it well:
I am saddened, too, on a personal level, as I have come to know Cheri as a delightful and energetic mind with both wit and grace and conviction. She is not bashful about what she believes, and her forcefulness probably pushed a few people who might have supported her into quiescence due to the force of the people who attacked her. I know a few lefty bloggers who will be happy to help her pack her bags, along with the leadership of Education Minne$ota. She has that effect on people. But the woman was not for turning, as Margaret Thatcher said.

See Republican Minnesota for the complete scoop (apparently they got the story first). Great scoop, RM.