Tuesday, August 21, 2007

No stone unturned? Between now and November?!

Jim Waters over at the Bluegrass Institute gives Joe Brothers a good early review and some encouragement to keep his word when he said, “This board will leave no stone unturned until we find a commissioner that is worthy of our state.”

Sounds great. But the last plan I heard from the board sounded more like "quick and dirty" than it did "scour the Earth."

...So far, Brothers gets an “A” for communicating a clear vision: the kids come first.

But leadership is more than just talk. It’s also about action, the right action.

Hiring a competent, reform-minded commissioner willing to make the students, not the system, top priority – even if it ticks off the bureaucrats – would show that Brothers’ actions speak louder than his words.

The board could find numerous candidates without turning over any stones. These likely would be lifelong bureaucrats who have shuffled along in the system and now want to do the same as Kentucky’s top education leader. They want the money or prestige. It’s a safe bet none would vigorously challenge the status quo.

The status quo isn’t close to good enough.

During its April meeting, the board heard from education department officials that less than 40 percent of the state’s public schools – and only 12 percent of its high schools – are on track to meet requirements of 100-percent academic proficiency in critical subject areas by 2014.

“We have to do better,” Brothers said...

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