Luna will not replace chief deputy

The State Department of Education will not replace chief deputy superintendent Roger Quarles, and will instead parcel out his responsibilities over the next 11 months.

And that means oversight of the Schoolnet instructional management system will fall to several Education Department staffers: program manager Alex Macdonald; chief information officer Joyce Popp; and chief of staff Luci Willits.

When Quarles was hired as chief deputy last summer, he became the department’s point man on fixing problems with the Schoolnet rollout. The state is piloting the Schoolnet system in 53 school districts across the state, but some local officials have complained that the system does not provide accurate student data that teachers can use to tailor instruction.

Quarles played an integral role in working with school district officials and Pearson Education Inc., the state’s vendor on the Schoolnet project, in laying out a roadmap for the third year of the pilot project.

“Now that that is in place, we have a clear path forward for improving our work with pilots,” Education Department spokeswoman Melissa McGrath said this week.

Quarles resigned from the Education Department last week to return to his old post as co-director of the Idaho Leads Project.

Outgoing State Superintendent Tom Luna outlined the transition plan Monday in a memo to Education Department staff.

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Disclosure: The Schoolnet pilot project, the Idaho Leads Project and Idaho Education News are funded through grants from the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation.

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