State School Chief Down to Three Candidates

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The search for Michigan's next schools chief was narrowed down to three candidates Tuesday.

The finalists are Mike Flanagan, leader of the Michigan Association of School Administrators; Nicholas Fischer, assistant superintendent of a large Virginia school system; and Thomas Jandris, a Cassopolis resident who leads an educational consulting company based in Oak Park, Ill.

The State Board of Education will invite all three finalists to public interviews within the next few weeks, Michigan Department of Education spokesman Martin Ackley said. A new superintendent of public instruction could be hired by the end of the month, he said.

The finalists were announced at a Board of Education meeting in Flint.

The board is searching to replace Tom Watkins, who resigned earlier this year after a feud with Gov. Jennifer Granholm.

Granholm has nominated Flanagan to replace Watkins. The eight-member Board of Education has the final authority to hire the schools chief.