Chester Finn, an education policy analyst who has been highly critical of Gov. Larry Hogan, was elected vice-president of the Maryland State Board of Education Monday.
Finn, former president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, a conservative education policy think tank, is replacing James Gates, a renowned physicist who resigned from the board last month to protest Hogan's mandate that all public schools in the state begin the school year after Labor Day and end by June 15. Decisions about school calendars had historically been left to local school boards. Gates was protesting Hogan's interference in policy issues.
Finn is known for speaking his mind at board meetings, and wrote two blog items in Flypaper, a Fordham blog, criticizing Hogan's stance on the calendar.
Flinn praised Gates leadership and said, "I will do my best to fill his shoes."
The Hogan administration has said there is popular support for the post Labor Day start date, and that it will be helpful to businesses that rely on summer vacationers, especially during the Labor Day weekend which is traditionally considered the last weekend of the summer.