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SBE narrows list of search firms

Colorado Department of Education
Colorado Department of Education

The State Board of Education next week will interview representatives of three firms vying to advise the board in finding a successor for outgoing education Commissioner Dwight Jones.

The interviews are tentatively set for the board’s scheduled meeting next Monday, depending on the availability of the applicants.

Five of the seven board members held a work session Monday morning to discuss the six firms that applied by the Nov. 22 deadline. Because state purchasing rules require bidder names be kept confidential until after a contract is awarded, board members referred to bidders by letter – A, B, etc. – during the discussion.

Three firms – identified as B, C and D – were dropped from further consideration by consensus. After discussion of A, E and F, board members agreed they want to interview representatives of all three.

Under state rules, cost is supposed to be the determining factor if all other bidder characteristics are considered equal. The board did not specify a contract amount or ceiling in the proposal it published. But that proposal was contained in a form named “request for documented quotion,” which is the form for state projects costing under $150,000. The proposal said a new commissioner should begin work “no later than July 1, 2011.”

According to the board’s request for bids, the search firm will be expected to work with the board to develop criteria for a new commissioner; gather input from state officials, interest groups, educators and the public; finalize the job description, advertise for candidates; do background checks and create an interview format.

The request specified that applicants “have at least five years experience in executive level placement, including placement as a public official in the education field” and also have “familiarity with the Colorado community and executive placements within Colorado, including those specifically in the education field.”

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