State education chief to resign; championed student testing
DENVER ” Colorado Education Commissioner Bill Moloney, a champion of standardized tests for public-school students, said Thursday he will resign in June after 10 years on the job.
Moloney said he announced his resignation four months in advance to give the state Board of Education time to find a successor. The commissioner is appointed by the elected Board of Education, which oversees public kindergarten- through 12-grade schools.
In a statement, Moloney said the state testing program is making progress and has “rightly put Colorado at the front of the line regarding education reform.”
Board chairwoman Pam Suckla said Moloney has been an asset to education.
“Bill pushed hard for the children of our state. He did not seek controversy but he did not shrink from it either. He often reminded us that our mission was about the needs of children, not the comfort of adults,” she said.
Board member Randy DeHoff said Moloney was willing to challenge tradition.
“Bill embodied the State Board of Education’s commitment to change and our willingness to challenge the status quo on behalf of kids. The occasional brick bats that he and we got were a small price to pay for the strong communication of our message of reform,” DeHoff said.
Moloney often battled teachers unions and educators over student testing.
A spokeswoman for the Colorado Education Association, which represents about 37,000 unionized teachers across the state, did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
Before being appointed Colorado education commissioner, Moloney served as a teacher, principal and superintendent in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, Pennsylvania and Maryland. He also spent several years overseas, four of them as Director of the American School in London.
Suckla said the search for a successor is under way.
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