Previously the board has shown a remarkable ability to hunker down and fend off good advice in favor of ... well ...whatever will get them past the Barbara Erwin mess. While Joe Brothers has adopted a more open and conciliatory tone, the move to search for a new commissioner this fall was ill-advised from the start and said more about the painful past than it did a brighter future.
When Al Smith and the Courier-Journal renewed their call for Ernie Fletcher to change course, and restart the commissioner's search, yet again, in the spring, it did not appear likely that Fletcher would suddenly become more responsive than he has been in the past.
Now, there may be light on the horizon.
This from Antoinette Konz at the Courier-Journal:
Less than a week before the Kentucky Board of Education plans to appoint a new education commissioner, Gov.-elect Steve Beshear said yesterday he has some concerns over the hiring.
"I plan on contacting the state Board of Education here in the next day or so and sitting down and discussing that issue with them," Beshear said during a press conference in Frankfort. "I have some concerns, and I want to express it to them at that time."
When asked what those concerns were, Beshear said through his spokeswoman that he had no additional comment.
Joe Brothers, chairman of the Board of Education, said that as of yesterday evening, he had not yet been contacted by Beshear to schedule a meeting.
"We'd be more than happy to talk with him; we always want to work with the governor, whether he is new or not," Brothers said. "As of right now, we plan to interview the candidates (as scheduled) and should everything come together, we could name someone as early as next week." ...
...Under state law, Kentucky's governor appoints members to the state Board of Education, but the governor has no control over action taken by the board. ...
...Gov. Ernie Fletcher, who appointed each of the current 11 members to the board, indicated yesterday he is willing to work with Beshear. ...