Florida education board names interim commissioner

Pam Stewart to replace Gerard Robinson

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Florida's current public schools chancellor will serve as the state's interim education commissioner.

The State Board of Education appointed Pam Stewart as interim commissioner following the resignation of Gerard Robinson after just a year on the job.

The panel held an emergency meeting by telephone on Thursday. It also voted to seek bids from consulting firms to aid in the search for a permanent replacement.

Robinson resigned Tuesday, citing the challenge of living far apart from his family in Virginia, where he had been education secretary before taking the Florida job.

Robinson's year in Florida has been marked by turmoil over tougher standards that have dropped scores on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test and lowered school grades.

Stewart is a former teacher, principal and deputy St. Johns County school superintendent.

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