Wednesday, November 14, 2007

All aboard?

The Kentucky Board of Education should do everybody a favor and slow down the "Appointment Express." There's no need to railroad the choice of a new education commissioner.

Having suffered through the embarrassment of one spectacularly failed search, which culminated in the resignation of Illinois educator Barbara Erwin before she actually started work, the board is understandably eager to repair the damage.

However, just because one search firm failed to produce doesn't mean the board should try to do the job itself, without a national search that is conducted by professionals. There are firms fully capable of doing what Ray and Associates of Cedar Rapids didn't: offer reliable choices from which the board may select someone for this enormously important job...

...We know some excellent school system administrators, but a much broader range of skills, expertise and vision is required to operate as commissioner in a state that (1) must build on the progress achieved so far in a historic effort at education reform and (2) must maneuver past the failed national education strategy that informed No Child Left Behind.

Mr. Beshear should not have a veto over this hire, but a newly-elected governor is strongly encouraged to meddle when the school board defaults on its job. After all, the people of Kentucky have just made a choice about where they want to go, and whom they want to lead the way.

This from the Courier-Journal

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