Kansas Education Commissioner Diane DeBacker has resigned to take a position as an adviser to the director general of the Abu Dhabi Education Council in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), writes Cecilia Llopis-Jespen of the Topeka Capital Journal. Her decision to leave the Kansas Board of Education was met with mixed emotions from her colleagues.
Members of the state board accepted her resignation ‘with regret,’ lauding her for work they described as cutting-edge. Praise came from Republican and Democrat board members alike and members who have often stood at odds with one another on a variety of policy matters.
During her time as the Kansas Education Commissioner, DeBacker brought about the integration of the new multi-state mathematics and English standards. She also advocated for the state’s participation in a multi-state effort to start a more technologically advanced set of standardized tests called Smarter Balanced.
Deputy Commissioner Brad Neuenswander will stand in as acting commissioner while the state board starts a search for DeBacker’s replacement. Neuenswander is the department’s head of Learning Services Division. DeBacker’s last day is May 14.