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Nevada Gov. Seeks Merit Pay, Wyoming Drama: Ed Today

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TONY BENNETT
AP

Ed Reform In Nevada? Gov. Brian Sandoval is putting the final touches on his Wednesday State of the State speech, and according to the Las Vegas Review Journal, education will factor high. Merit pay -- a plan in which teachers are paid partially in accordance with their students' test scores -- is looking good to him. "There is money in the budget to ensure we have a fair system by which we're going to measure the performance of teachers," Sandoval said. "Education will be a big priority for me, and you're going to hear a lot about it in the State of the State. K-12 as well as higher ed." (It should be noted that merit pay hasn't been found to work most anywhere -- except in special cases).

What About Some Other Governors? Over in Missouri, it's looking like Gov. Jay Nixon might press for more preschool money and a longer school year.

Captain Obvious Meets Florida? Today, former Indiana schools chief Tony Bennett is bringing his basketball coaching mojo to Florida, where he will occupy the same post. So the Associated Press is reporting that in Florida, Bennett will be following in former Gov. Jeb Bush's footsteps with similar education policy. That means a test-based agenda that favors charter schools and vouchers, eschews social promotion, and leans on teachers hard for student performance. But again, this isn't exactly surprising. Bennett is close with Bush, and is a member of his Chiefs for Change group of schools chief protégées. I'd be curious to see how they differ -- especially after the political lessons Bennett learned in the Hoosier state.

The Wheels On The Bus Are Stopping? New York City, the nation's largest school district, could soon see a bus strike -- and the strike might start this week, reports the Daily News. "The shop stewards have been passing word it could come next week," a driver told The News on Saturday. "It looks like it's really going to happen." It would mark the first such strike since 1979.

Wyoming's School Chief In Trouble? This week, Wyoming's state legislature will weigh a bill that would remove power from the state's schools chief. "The proposal to take authority away from the superintendent of public instruction is the culmination of two years of increasing acrimony over how to make students' test scores rise," reports the Billings Gazette. "With leaders from both houses and both parties behind it, the bill appears likely to advance."

People: Where Is Pete Cunningham? After leaving the U.S. Education Department in November, long-time Arne Duncan messaging advisor Peter Cunningham is landing as a senior advisor to Whiteboard Advisors. (Whiteboard is the "non-lobbying arm" of lobbying outlet DutkoGrayling).

And while we're on the subject, we just learned Friday that after making a brief pitt stop at the Center for American Progress, former White House higher education wunderkind Zakiya Smith is landing at the megalith Lumina Foundation.