Generalissima Hanna Skandera is still New Mexico Public Education Department (PED) Secretary. In other words, she appears “dead” with regard to her becoming U.S. Department of Education head of the “Office of Elementary and Secondary Education.”
Despite this apparent setback, the Generalissima (yeah, that’s the female variant of generalissimo) is certainly busy as Franco in his heyday torching bridges across the state, leaving a bizarre voice mail to new Las Cruces Public Schools’ Superintendent Greg Ewing that included cancellation of a training two days later and that she was “hearing some really disturbing things about what’s going on in your district….”
Moving north, Secretary Skandera is irate about Santa Fe Public Schools’ “Snow Day for Activism,” starting an investigation into the action’s possible breaking of state law by yelling and screaming that she is starting an investigation. There’s also the continuing saga of Española Valley schools, and a just concluded regular session of the New Mexico Legislature in which Skandera and PED were uniformly mean, shortsighted and unhelpful, evidenced best by an important legislative hearing on school funding at which she didn’t even show up.
Looking at the evidence, it sure seems like Secretary Skandera was: A) Expecting to get that Federal job; B) Had already gone into “I’m out of here, so F-You everybody and the horse and snow day you rode in on” mode.
Of course at this point, as the duck that is the Martinez Administration gets lamer and lamer, fewer and fewer New Mexican school officials, teachers, and just about anyone else, care what Generalissima Skandera says or does. She’s not quite yet “dead” as Franco politically here, but she’s exceedingly far from her heady pre-PARCC days of terror.
One of Ms. Skandera’s favorite words is “win.” The slogan “Kids First, New Mexico Wins!” has been central to the ungodly awful PED website since forever, and in an email reply to the New Mexican after Politico noted she wouldn’t be getting the Federal job, she blandly intoned, “When education focuses on students and not politics, everyone wins.”
Well, Secretary Skandera, your not “winning” the Federal job just adds your loser status to that of all the poor bastards, “kids first” among them, who have suffered under your horrible, pathetic reign. While more and more New Mexicans would love to see you go away, Madame Generalissima, you really don’t deserve any future jobs in setting education policy. Anywhere.