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ellisonz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-24-12 08:00 PM
Original message
Reed College Names John Kroger Next College President
Retiring Oregon Attorney General John Kroger has been named the next president of Reed College.

He'll become Reed's 15th president in Julyseven months before his public job is scheduled to enddespite declining to run for re-election as the top official at the Oregon Department of Justice for health reasons he won't disclose.

"Reed College is a remarkable institution with an unparalleled commitment to the life of the mind," Kroger said in a statement today. "Reed has fostered independent thought and expression for more than 100 years."

In October, Kroger said he wouldn't seek re-election, citing health problems that weren't life-threatening but required him to travel less. It ended one of the fastest rises in Oregon politicsfrom crusading federal prosecutor to the state's top counsel, with a book and teaching stint at Lewis & Clark in between.


As an alumnus, I am deeply disappointed with this selection. Mr. Kroger has no experience running an educational institution and there is no apparent evidence that he understands the non-traditional culture of the college. Good News: He's marginally qualified. The Bad News: He's a cop.

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KoKo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-24-12 08:36 PM
Response to Original message
1. Thats very creepy.
Sort of what's going on in the rest of our Colleges and Undergraduate Institutions these days, though.

What's going on in education today is Corporate Takeover...and interests beyond basic Education if there are Big Bucks to make.

Our DU'er "Mad Floridian" has been calling our attention to this. It's even going on here in my state of NC and in CT and NY both of where I've lived.

It's kind of overwhelming to see the coordination of it all taking place in this time frame...all over the USA.

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ellisonz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-24-12 08:39 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. This is police takeover... support of the corporate takeover. :crazy:
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KoKo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-24-12 08:58 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. My "turned blue for Obama" State with a model of Good School Test Scores hired a US GENERAL!
Edited on Tue Apr-24-12 09:04 PM by KoKo
This is a County School System with High Test Scores for the South. Remember it's "Research Triangle, NC" which was a model for the South bringing in HIGH TECH/BIOTECH INDUSTRY and we have DUKE University, University of North Carolina and "NC State" which are TOP line UNIVERSITIES all within this Triagle area which has been a success model that Obama and Clinton Administrations have touted as to what was a Model Area for US Business to relocate to because "Business Friendly...with Access to Major Top Universities and a highly skilled Tech/Med Work Force.
WE hired a GENERAL of the USA to take over our Schools! We FOUGHT BACK HARD...but he's still there.
It's COORDINATED EFFORT....It's shocking to see this kind of thing all over the US these days. :-(

You won't have time to read all this...but, believe me it reads like a RW/MIC Takeover...and NO ONE HERE seemed to see it coming from the folks I've talked to.

(THIS READS LIKE BIZARRE SCI FI...but it's the truth!)

Wake schools hire Tata in split vote
Published in: Wake County

Academic focus:

'I will ensure our teachers and principals have the resources they need to deliver this improvement. One of my goals will be to energize all aspects of Wake County's very large, complex organization to operate at maximum capacity and minimum cost so that we can push as many resources as possible to where they belong - the classroom."

His approach to the Wake County school system:

"I believe I have the experience, heart, resources, and vision to help Wake County Public School System accelerate its drive to become a world-class education system. I will bring a primary focus to supporting schools and teachers so that they may achieve academic success for our children in the same way I delivered unrelenting support to our troops on the front lines as they served our nation."

To read Tata's entire statement after the school board's vote on Thursday, go to


b]Reaction to Tata's appointment

"Mr. Tata is focused, disciplined and committed to serve the stakeholders and students of Wake County. He brings with him a history of exceptional leadership, a clear understanding of the issues facing education today and a dynamic vision for our school system."

-Wake County school board chairman Ron Margiotta

"Gen. Tata's leadership, experience, education background and his passion for public service is the right combination to help lead Wake County to continue to be a world-class school district."

-Wake County school board Vice Chairwoman Debra Goldman

"Someone like Gen. Tata, who's managed a system - particularly in his last command in Afghanistan, managing 91 bases and 30,000 troops or employees at that point - positions him well to help us with the logistics moving forward as we continue to grow in a system that's the second-largest employer in the region with over 18,000 employees."

-Wake County school board member John Tedesco

"I don't think Gen. Tata would consider me qualified to be appointed as a brigadier general if I only had a short course and 18 months of experience in the military."

-Wake County school board member Carolyn Morrison

"It's sad and divisive for them to hire a clear political ideologue. This is the wrong kind of choice. It proves they're not interested in education but in political ideology."

-The Rev. William Barber, president of the state NAACP

"While he has great credentials, this isn't a military school. While you're bringing strengths to the table, there are weaknesses you have to learn on the ground. I hope he's a quick study."

-Anne Sherron, a critic of the GOP school board majority and a member of the school board's student assignment committee

Anthony J. Tata

Born: September 1959; grew up in Norfolk and Virginia Beach.

Education: Bachelor's degree from the U.S. Military Academy; a master's degree in international relations from Catholic University of America; a master's degree in strategic planning from the School of Advanced Military Studies; a certification as a Harvard University JFK School of Government National Security Fellow; graduate of Broad Superintendents Academy.

Family: Wife, Jodi; children, Brooke, 21, and Zachary, 16.

Career: U.S. Army, 1981-2009, including stints as commander of a paratrooper battalion in the 82nd Airborne Division and an air assault brigade in the 101st Airborne Division, deputy commanding general of the 10th Mountain Division and Combined Joint Task Force-76, and deputy director of the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Organization; D.C. Public Schools chief operating officer from June 2009 to present.

Books written: "Sudden Threat," "Rogue Threat," "Hidden Threat."

Television appearances: Fox News' "The O'Reilly Factor," "America's Newsroom," Fox and Friends "Weekday" and "Weekend Editions"; The WB's "Daily Buzz with Andy Campbell"; CBS News; NBC's South Florida "Today Show"; local TV stations around the country.

His website:

The words of Anthony Tata

New Wake County Superintendent has spoken out extensively over the years on a variety of education and political issues. Here's some of what's he had to say:

On the similarities between the military and public education:

'The parallels between military service and education are many. You're placing a greater need ahead of your own.'

- Virginian Pilot, July 2, 2009

On the differences between the military and the public schools:

'As a general, I could snap my fingers and 3,000, 5,000, 10,000 troops would change their uniform. Here you've got to build consensus.'

- AARP interview, May 19, 2010

On his time in D.C. Public Schools:

'The mission is so pure, it's so right, and the people are great. That's right in my wheelhouse.'

- Washington Post, Feb. 15, 2010

On Sarah Palin after reviewing her book, 'Going Rogue':

'The recurrent thought in my mind was that this woman is far more qualified to be president of the United States than the current occupant of the White House.'

-, Dec. 3, 2009

On being so politically outspoken:

'I've spent a career defending everybody's right to free speech, so I figured I'd take advantage of it a little bit.'

- Washington Post, Feb. 15, 2010

Related Stories
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RALEIGH Promising to bring order, discipline and efficiency to the state's largest school district, the Wake County school board's Republican majority selected retired Army Brig. Gen. Anthony J. Tata as the system's new superintendent Thursday in a 4-2 vote.

Two Democratic board members, while pledging to work with Tata, criticized his relatively short tenure in education - 18 months as chief operations officer for the Washington, D.C., city schools versus his 28 years of military service. In what seemed to be a bid to reassure those concerned about the future of academics in Wake, board Chairman Ron Margiotta and others effusively praised interim superintendent Donna Hargens. Tata said he'd ask Hargens to stay on as chief academic officer.

The vote notably reunited the five-member Republican majority that was well on its way to dramatically reshaping the state's largest school system before board member Debra Goldman defected on several key issues touching on student reassignment. Goldman, head of the board's search committee, gave Tata an enthusiastic endorsement.

"He has educational experience and we are pleased at the combination of skills that this candidate will bring to Wake County," Goldman said.

GOP school board members praised Tata's leadership skills, saying his military background is what the school district needs to help with the budget and improve academic achievement.

"He will be the CEO of a $1.2 billion business," said GOP school board member John Tedesco. "There are few and far between the number of leaders of his caliber who have entered Wake County."

Democratic board members objected to both Tata's background and the hurried pace and lack of openness in the hiring process.

"Nothing in his background of experience suggests that he is prepared to lead the largest school district in North Carolina," said Democratic board member Carolyn Morrison, a retired Wake principal.

Morrison added that she thought Wake "could do better for the parents, children, staff and taxpayers" than to hire Tata.

Tata was not at Thursday's meeting but will start work Jan. 31 at an annual salary of $250,000 plus benefits, according to his contract. The contract runs through June 2014.

"I am humbled to be selected as the next superintendent, ... " Tata said in a written statement. "I intend to focus the system's impressive resources on the academic achievement of our students and on closing the achievement gap in student performance."

The Wake school system will be provided with three free audits - on topics including academic standards, curriculum and hiring practice - by the Broad Superintendents Academy, the Los Angeles nonprofit institute that trains former generals, CEOs and others to lead large school systems. Tata, 51, trained there during the last period of his military service and afterward. In addition, for a year, the academy will provide Tata with a senior adviser with a strong academic background, the new superintendent said in his statement.

Finding Tata cost $82,500 plus expenses for the services of a search firm and involved more than 120 applicants. In July, the board had voted to loosen the educational requirements for the post, which formerly required a superintendent's certificate and three years working in education within the past 10 years.

"We broadened our horizons," Deborah Prickett said.

None of the other applicants' names were released. Republican board members argued that confidentiality would raise the caliber of the candidates. Goldman said Tata was chosen over two other finalists.

Yevonne Brannon, a former county commissioner and current head of the Great Schools in Wake Coalition, said the nature of the search was ironic.

"This board ran on, 'We'll listen - we'll be open,'" she said. "And now we have a superintendent that we hear about after the contract is signed."

By contrast, Republican board member Chris Malone said he was ecstatic about hiring Tata. "We've got someone who can handle a large budget, where there have been problems all along," he said.

Malone said the board expects Tata to refrain from some of the high-profile political punditry he has practiced in recent years as a political commentator on the Internet.

Dissenters, absentees

Democrats Morrison and Kevin Hill voted against Tata's appointment. Dr. Anne McLaurin, a Democrat, said she could not escape professional responsibilities to attend the meeting.

Democratic member Keith Sutton boycotted the meeting, which was called on 48 hours' notice. By e-mail he said he was "concerned about meetings being called without ample preparation, notification, or professional courtesy being extended to fellow board members."

A motion backed by Morrison and Hill to defer the vote to Jan. 4 to allow for parental comment was defeated by the same 4-2 vote. But both said they'd back Tata now that he's hired.

Malone said they held the meeting on such short notice to make sure that the deal with Tata didn't fall through.

Tata's predecessor, Del Burns, who announced his resignation in February because he opposed board decisions, made $273,000. He spent most of the last 34 years in education.

Tata's work in D.C.

Tata, 51, has been in charge of purchasing, food service, technology and other support functions for the 46,000-student D.C. school system since June 2009.

Tata rose to the rank of brigadier general during a military career that included stints in Bosnia, Afghanistan, Panama and the Philippines. He's been a battalion commander for the 82nd Airborne Division in Fort Bragg and the deputy director of a group with a $4.5 billion budget charged with developing ways to protect soldiers from improvised explosive devices.

"Gen. Tata is not afraid of a challenge as evidenced by his superior leadership talents with our military troops and outstanding management skills in the Washington, D.C., school system," Prickett said.

Tata was recommended, along with a list of other top candidates, by Heidrick & Struggles, an Illinois-based executive search firm. No information was released about any other applicants.

He writes thrillers

Tata is the author of three military action thrillers, a commentator on conservative websites and a frequent guest on national television network news shows.

Supporters cited his work in D.C. schools and his training at the Broad Superintendents Academy, which is run on extended weekends over 10 months.

Tata will take charge of the 18th-largest school district in the nation (143,000 students) at a time of major challenges. Wake is likely to face layoffs, larger classes and program cuts to make up for the projected loss of more than $100 million in state and federal dollars next year. In his statement, Tata said one of his goals will be to minimize costs to put more resources into the classroom.

Margiotta said Tata's experience as a military strategist will complement Wake's focus on academic achievement.

Wake also faces a federal civil rights investigation over its student assignment practices and a special review by the organization that accredits its high schools. Both investigations stem from complaints by the state NAACP.

Tata will have to help the board implement the new student assignment model that will move Wake toward neighborhood schools.

In the face of all these challenges, GOP board members said they need someone with Tata's strong organizational skills. Tedesco cited problems such as the multimillion dollar fraud involving the school transportation department that occurred last decade.

"We need someone who can run a large organization," said Malone. "He's the right guy."

Staff writer Eric Ferreri contributed to this article.
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ellisonz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-24-12 09:52 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. LAUSD tried that... didn't work.

Children aren't soldiers. College students aren't criminals.
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