School board group names director

The Virginia School Boards Association announced that Gina Patterson will be the organization’s executive director beginning Jan. 1.

Patterson, now the deputy executive director, will succeed Barbara Coyle, who is retiring at the end of this year.

The Virginia School Boards Association is a public education advocacy group based in Charlottesville. Patterson joined the organization in 1998 as a membership services specialist before becoming assistant executive director in 2002. She became the deputy executive director last year.

“With her vision for the future, many years of experience, and unwavering commitment to Virginia’s school boards, the board of directors agree[s] that Gina is the best choice to lead the Virginia School Boards Association,” said Roy Boyles, the group’s president. “She is an effective leader and passionate advocate for Virginia’s public education system.”

T. Rees Shapiro

Fine coaches for lack of graduation?

With March Madness in full gear, Education Secretary Arne Duncan is proposing that colleges and universities start penalizing coaches financially if the athletes on their teams don’t graduate.

In an op-ed in USA Today, Duncan and co-author Tom McMillen, chairman and chief executive officer of the Timios National Corporation, argue that big-time coaches make enormous salaries and are awarded bonuses for athletic performance. But, they said, there is no penalty when athletes who get big scholarships don’t graduate.

They conclude the op-ed by saying that the current situation is “neither economically sustainable nor morally defensible.”

Valerie Strauss