"Are you now or have you ever been…?"
New Kansas Education Commissioner Bob Corkins’ transition team has been asking State Department of Education employees whether they support private school vouchers.The transition team, all picked from the Kansas equivalent of inside the Beltway, has no business asking these questions. It's a page right out of The Republican War on Science, making hiring and firing decisions based on ideology, rather than competence.
In private interviews with employees, the transition team, appointed by Corkins after he was hired last month, has asked, “What is your general reaction to school choice, charter schools and parental empowerment?”
Maybe I'm wrong, maybe vouchers are God's gift to the schools of Kansas. The way to decide that is to bring in the experts and listen to the consensus opinion of the people who've investigated the issue. Not to fire anyone who doesn't see eye to eye. That internal dissent is healthy and necessary.
If the Board does something stupid and rams vouchers through, the only chance our schools will have are people who aren't convinced, and who will be watching for warning signs. If they're satisfied, we can be confident that the system is working. Their critical eyes will catch problems and give BrownieCorkins time to fix the errors.
Fire Bob Corkins.