In a move that surprises no one
A divided State Board of Education today selected conservative activist Bob Corkins to become education commissioner, the top position in the Kansas public school system.…qualified.
The vote was 6-4 with conservatives supporting Corkins.
He heads two conservative think tanks, has no experience in education and has lobbied against increased funding for public schools. Moderate board members voted against Corkins. John Bacon, Olathe, who represents the Lawrence area on the board, voted in favor of Corkins.
Corkins, of Lawrence, will now be offered the job and salary will be subject to negotiations. The last commissioner earned about $144,000 per year.
The other candidates were:
That is, the others have taught, have administered schools, have negotiated the federal bureaucracy and the state bureaucracy. They know something about kids and something about schools.
This man is almost certainly the reason the Board tried to shuffle the qualifications, leading the NASBE to withdraw from the search.
Set aside the mess Mr. Corkins will make of things. Set aside the fact that he's an ideologue with no experience. One day, he'll leave for greener pastures. When that happens, the Board will begin a new search. Competent people will look at the history, look at the schools, and look for greener pastures.
Look over the candidates (from our discussion a month ago). I see incredible talent there. A deputy Secretary of Education, our deputy commissioner, a school district superintendent. Good names, people with copious experience that they could have kept in state, or brought here. And instead, the Board chose to blow off these qualified and experienced professionals for a hack.
Write to your state representatives and to the creationist 6. Demand some answers about this process. Don't settle for Connie Morris's form letter.
No Man's Land shows us the harm that unqualified hacks can do. Don't let our schools get ruined.