01/05/2011 02:39 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Top School Chiefs To Watch In 2011

With a new Congress in session and an unrelenting focus on education reform, school superintendents nationwide are carrying the torch for change in the public school system.

The Christian Science Monitor reported this week on the school chiefs -- beyond former D.C. schools chancellor Michelle Rhee or New York City's incoming head of schools, Cathie Black -- to look out for this year.

Jason Glass, the new director of the Iowa Department of Education, was first on The Monitor's list. A former teacher and school administrator, Glass hopes to address merit pay for teachers and create greater innovation in schools.

According to The Monitor, Glass said:

"That happens by not imposing greater central control on schools, but actually freeing up local school districts to try new things."

Back east, New Jersey schools are under the guidance this year of Christopher Cerf, the former New York City deputy schools chancellor.

Gov. Chris Christie, who appointed Cerf as the state's new education commissioner, told The Star-Ledger:

"I look forward to working with him on what is going to, I think, be a very, very interesting and challenging year in terms of reforming an education system in New Jersey that, is in my view, desperately in need of reform."

Read more about the chiefs to look out for like Janet Barresi of Oklahoma and Tony Bennett of Indiana at The Christian Science Monitor.