Next week: A chat with Kathleen Shanahan


A close ally of former Gov. Jeb Bush, Kathleen Shanahan has been a leading voice for education reform and school choice in Florida, arguably the leading state for both. And coincidentally or not, as her second and final term winds to a close on the state Board of Education, she’s been increasingly critical of ed policy shifts under Gov. Rick Scott.

This week, Shanahan voted against another extension of a “safety net” for school grades, calling it “sad” the board was “voting on something that’s going to have no integrity.” She also lit into the Department of Education’s reticence to use the term “Common Core,” dubbing it “sort of mushy.”

What else does the outspoken Shanahan think about the past, present and future of education in Florida? Ask her. She’ll be our guest next week for a live, written chat.

As we’ve said before, the chat is like a press conference with a typewriter. We ask questions. You ask questions. Our guest types furiously. 🙂

To participate, come back to the blog on Thursday, Oct. 24. We’ll start promptly at 10 a.m., so click in to the live chat program – which you’ll find here on the blog – a few minutes before then. In the meantime, if you have questions for Shanahan that you’d like to send in advance, you can leave them in the comments section, email them to, tweet them to @redefinEDonline, and/or post them on our facebook page.

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BY Ron Matus

Ron Matus is director for policy and public affairs at Step Up for Students and a former editor of redefinED. He joined Step Up in February 2012 after 20 years in journalism, including eight years as an education reporter with the Tampa Bay Times (formerly the St. Petersburg Times). Ron can be reached at or (727) 451-9830. Follow him on Twitter @RonMatus1 and on facebook at