The new Governor of Arkansas, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, has chosen Jacob Olivia, a member of Ron DeSantis’ education team to lead Arkansas’ schools.

Max Brantley of the Arkansas Times expects that the change in personnel indicates a new move to install vouchers and to copy other parts of disastrous and divisive education agenda.

Yep, the Cabinet appointment today by incoming Governor Sanders was a big one. She’ll be replacing Asa Hutchinson’s Education secretary, Johnny Key, with a veteran of the DeSantis administration in Florida, Jacob Oliva, senior chancellor at the Florida Department of Education, overseeing the Division of Public Schools.

Brantley quotes an opinion piece written in the district where Olivia was a superintendent before DeSantis brought him into a statewide position:

A quick search turned up this opinion piece on Oliva, by a writer who said he’d been a generally progressive school administrator in Flagler County but had drunk DeSantis’ “reactionary Kool-Aid.” It notes that, as a high school principal, Oliva initially moved to kill a student production of “To Kill a Mockingbird,” but relented after protests, a positive sign of his willingness to listen.

But the writer also said of Olivia:

I am trying to understand how you went from being one of the most progressive, innovative and inclusive superintendents in the history of Flagler County to a shill, as one of two Florida senior chancellors of education, for the single most regressive, reactionary and, frankly, just plain mean state departments of education in the nation. Something isn’t adding up.

This isn’t the Jacob Oliva we knew, unless you’ve placed a bet on Ron DeSantis becoming president and your next nameplate getting laminated in Washington. Even so: has your ambition become so primeval that you’re willing to make these Faustian bargains the way you have on covid safety measures, on gender identity, on sanitized civics and history, and now degrading math textbooks for something as innocuous–if not provably useful–as their social-emotional learning content?

I urge you to open the link and read the article, and please, please read the comments.