Friday, December 15, 2006

Luna lied????

Headline on the front page of today's Times-News...

"Tom Luna, the incoming head of the state's public school system, misrepresented his position with the U.S. Department of Education on his resume during his successful campaign this fall."
Gee, WHY couldn't this have come out BEFORE the election???
UPDATE (12/07/06):
As referenced in one of the comments to this post, heads are rolling before Luna even starts his term in office.
...have you heard about the "No Child Left Behind: Football Version?"...


Dan said...


I have a friend at work whose wife works for Jana. This morning he told me that Luna fired about 20 people from the department yesterday (including my friend's wife). He has apparently fired all the PhDs - can't have those smarty-pants hanging around making him look dumb, of course.

My friend hypothesized that Luna was firing all the 'big idea' people - the ones who have the professional contacts nationally, who go to conferences, who read the research, and who bring in the grants and programs for reform. He only wants people who will follow the conservative, Republican party line on education: NCLB good! Teacher pay bad! Vouchers good! Evolution bad! Homeschool good! etc.

He told me that she's somewhat relieved to have been fired. It's kind of like a badge of honor. It's definitely better than having your name associated with the coming disaster that will be the Luna era.

It's like all the people who have left the Bush administration under bad terms - their reputations are much better than those who stayed with Bush and received Presidental Medals of Freedom.

Diana Rowe Pauls said...

Remember this from the Idaho Statesman endorsement?

"Luna, a Nampa businessman, promised to surround himself with educators on his staff."

How quickly they forget...

Julie in Boise said...

I haven't felt this pessimistic about the state of education since the Anne Fox era.

She did only last one term, didn't she? I can't imagine Luna lasting longer than that. I still hope we can contain the damage.

Anonymous said...

The chair of the state party (Stallings) said he doesn't feel sorry for Jana.

Anonymous said...

He stated that he didn't feel sorry for Jana Jones in a meeting. Several people heard him say it and his dislike for Jana Jones is well known.

Anonymous said...

Tom Luna is a disaster. He fired anyone with a brain and brought in his lackeys. It's like a bad sitcom at the Idaho State Department of Education. He brought in a bunch of administrative assistance from the department commerce and fired anyone with any education experience. This guy is shady as can be. An online degree and fake experience. This is the Idaho we all know and love. Republicans raping the people and selling the children for a few pieces of silver.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

From the State Department of Education
For immediate release
January 2, 2007

For information contact:
Luci Willits
Chief of Staff
(208) 250-3850

Superintendent Luna announces Department of Education reorganization, appointments of key personnel

Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna today announced the appointment of several experienced and innovative educators and administrators to his leadership team at the Idaho State Department of Education. Superintendent Luna's team includes former principals, teachers, experts in finance, government affairs and communications.

Superintendent Luna also announced that Dr. Bob West will assist the department with the transition process. Dr. West served as Chief Deputy in the department until 2005. Before serving as chief deputy, Dr. West was assistant superintendent in the Moscow School District.

Superintendent Luna said the department will have two major focuses - improving student achievement and providing quality and timely support services to parents, teachers and school districts. Superintendent Luna has reorganized the department into five new divisions:

* Division of Student Achievement and School Accountability
* Division of School District Support Services
* Division of Innovation and School Choice
* Division of Finance and Information Technology
* Division of Communication and Government Affairs

"Our children deserve the very best education system in the world," Superintendent Luna said. "By improving accountability, increasing local control and expanding choice in public education, we can achieve our goals."

At a department staff meeting this afternoon, Mr. Luna introduced the new managers and unveiled the department's organizational structure. They include:

§ Christine Ivie, Deputy Superintendent for Student Achievement and School Accountability: Ivie has served as a teacher, counselor, principal and special education director throughout Idaho. Ivie most recently was the Elementary and Secondary Academic Officer of the State Board of Education. She has a Master's degree from Northwest Nazarene University, and she is finishing her doctorate in education.

§ Tim Hill, Deputy Superintendent for Finance and Information Technology: Hill has been with the Department of Education since 1997, having served in two previous administrations at the department. Before joining the department, he had a long career in the banking industry.

§ Nick Smith, Deputy Superintendent for School District Support: Smith currently serves as the Civic Education Coordinator for the Department of Education. He has worked as a principal and teacher in the Bliss School District. His experience within the department and in a rural school district will help the department be more supportive of the needs of school districts.

§ Misty Knuchell, Special Education Coordinator: Knuchell is a teacher, who has coordinated special education programs serving both rural and urban school districts. She helped start a program for special populations of elementary, middle and high school students in the Kuna School District. She has a Master's degree in special education from Northwest Nazarene University.

§ Liz Smith, Language Arts Specialist: Smith has been a public school teacher for 15 years, most recently in Meridian. She helped put together the Meridian Medical Arts Charter High School, where she developed the curriculum.

§ Luci Willits, Chief of Staff, Division of Communications and Government Affairs: Willits most recently worked as the chief communications officer for the State Board of Education. Before that, she was communications director for Congressman Mike Simpson.

§ Louie Konkol, Chief Accountant: Konkol joins the department after working as the financial manager for the state Division of Building Safety. He has also worked for the Department of Lands and the state controller's office.

§ Melissa McGrath, Public Information Officer: McGrath joins the Idaho Department of Education after working as a business reporter at the Idaho Statesman. She worked at a newspaper in Frederick, Maryland, and covered education issues for a news wire service in Maryland before returning to Idaho.

§ Jeff Church, Publications Director: Church has extensive marketing experience. Church, a graduate of Albertson College with a degree in marketing, has managed several campaigns for public office, handling logistical and public outreach for candidates, and will use that experience to improve the department's online and printed outreach.

§ Wayne Hoffman, Management Specialist: Hoffman comes from the state Department of Agriculture, where he was the special assistant to the director. Before that, he was a longtime journalist, most recently covering state government issues for the Idaho Statesman.

§ Garry Lough, Director of Government Affairs: Lough worked as a Deputy Controller for Keith Johnson. Prior to joining state government, Lough was the executive director of the Idaho Republican Party.

§ Brenda Mattson, executive assistant to the Superintendent: Mattson spent six years as the director of administration for the Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry. Prior to joining IACI, she was the meetings manager for the Palm Springs Convention Center in Palm Springs, California.

§ Sue Nesbella, Human Resources Director: Nesbella comes to the team from the Department of Commerce and Labor, where she most recently was a personnel technician. Before that, she worked for the Division of Human Resources.