Ed Week reported recently what folks have been buzzing about: There are apparently some troubles at Education Commission of the States. The emails have been circulating around now and some well-respected and well-liked folks have left. I’ve heard all manner of rumor and I’m not going to start repeating them all here as Ed Week’s Hoff hits the key points. I will add, however, that I keynoted an ECS meeting a few weeks ago in Delaware and it went smoothly.

Perhaps more interesting in the long run is the Council of Chief State School Officers situation. CCCSO head Tom Houlihan has announced his departure. Lots of buzz about possible replacements. One big name foundation person has been asking around and at least two former chiefs, both women from the South, are also interested. Couple of somewhat usual suspects from the DC scene as well. But, the CCSSO board has given the search to a small firm run by a former state chief, that could well mean it’s wired. Along those lines Scott Montgomery is rumored by some to have the inside track. Among CCSSO staffers there is a lot of good feeling for Joe Simpson for the role.

Stay tuned. This matters because Houlihan did a lot to get the organization back on track after it started to split when ELC (remember those guys) was formed. But, without the ELC threat CCSSO is going to need a strong leader to keep the organization in fighting trim lest the old issues bubble back up. ELC itself may have turned out to be a debacle but some of the issues that gave rise to it are still real. But, it’s a tough job. Keeping 50 fiefdoms and a board of directors happy in a time of substantial reform takes a deft political hand and there is loads of travel involved.

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