by David Safier
Arizona Senator Richard Crandall is one of three finalists to head the Wyoming Department of Education. I see Crandall's interest in the job was in the Capitol Times, and Craig McDermott cross-posted about it on BfA in March, but it looks like Crandall's name has recently made it to the finals.
McDermott, who I always bow to when it comes to insider Capitol baseball, writes that Crandall is "known as one of the more civil and reasonable members" of the Republican caucus, though he also mentions that's a pretty low bar.
I looked into Crandall when he questioned whether schools should have to follow the new federal school meals guidelines. He wrote legislation to make participation optional. Crandall runs CN [stands for Child Nutrition] Resource, a consulting business that makes money advising schools and other agencies on nutrition and menus, so he stands to make money if schools ignore the federal guidelines and need to go elsewhere to help them construct their menus.
Crandall also made the jaw-dropping statement that, if the state gives money to schools to improve reading skills, it should be divided evenly among schools instead of spending it at schools with students who most need a reading boost. Read his statement below. It either shows he's clueless about education or is a liar who wants to make sure not a penny extra goes to schools with low income students.
"To say it should only go to those schools who have done a poor job of educating kids in reading, that they're the only ones who should get it, punishes those great administrators, principals, teachers who have done a very good job of teaching kids to read," [Crandall] said.
Crandall is a member of ALEC in good standing. He also gets support from Jeb Bush's Foundation for Excellence in Education. If Wyoming wants him to run the state's education system, that's their problem. I guess it would mean Crandall wouldn't be Arizona's problem, which would be a good thing.