Friday, November 09, 2007

Beshear Wants Commissioner of Education Search Re-Opened

Kentucky's Governor-Elect weighs in on the rocky search for a new state education commissioner. He can't make the decision, but Steve Beshear hopes he can influence the process. The Governor-Elect is asking the Kentucky School Board to delay choosing a new education commissioner.

"I am not here to interfere with your job," he told board members today.

Beshear wants the board to re-open its search because he believes the "contentious" political climate has driven away candidates. "Many of them have had reservations about stepping forward simply because they could not tell where we were going at this time," he said.

The commissioner search has been controversial. This summer, the board's original choice, Barbara Erwin, quit before she started. She was doomed by questions about her leadership style and resume.

The board has its new search down to four finalists, three from Kentucky. Interviews are set for next week.

Now, the next governor wants the board to rethink everything.

"It’s somewhat of a grave position that the board is being placed in," board member Janna Vice told Action News 36.

Beshear admits he's creating a predicament for the board, but he says at the same time he really thinks it's called for. Beshear says he's not criticizing the qualifications of the four finalists. However, some of the board members indicated they're concerned about the impact Beshear's request could have on their search.

Joe Brothers, board chairman told Action News 36"Whether or not we can find a way that maintains the integrity of the process and supports what he wants us to do, I don't know." The board has not given Beshear an answer yet.

That from WTVQ news.

And this from the Cincinnati Enquirer.

Draud not a shoo-in

The bid by Northern Kentucky legislator Jon Draud to be the state's education commissioner may have been dealt a blow today by Gov.-elect Steve Beshear.

Beshear asked the state Board of Education on Friday to reopen its search for a new commissioner. Beshear said he thinks the uncertain political climate surrounding the governor's race may have deterred qualified candidates from applying for the job....

...Draud, a Republican state representative from Edgewood and the retired superintendent of the Ludlow schools in Kenton County, said this morning that conducting a new search would be a mistake.

"That sends a message to the rest of the potential applicants that Kentucky has a lot of problems," Draud said. "That would be two searches in a row that haven't been successful. Regardless of whether I get the job or not, I don't think that makes Kentucky look very good." ...

And this KDE press release:


(FRANKFORT, Ky.) - During a special-called meeting today, the Kentucky Board of Education agreed to continue with its search for a top candidate for the position of commissioner of education.

The board will hold interviews with the four finalists for the position on Tuesday and Wednesday, November 13 and 14, at the Embassy Suites RiverCenter in Covington. After the completion of the interviews, the board will determine next steps in the process, which might include gathering additional information on the finalists and/or extending the search to allow an additional opportunity to consider other persons.

Governor-Elect Steve Beshear attended the board meeting today and offered his support as the board moves forward through the process. Beshear encouraged the board to extend the process and seek to broaden the pool of candidates.

In late October, the board selected four finalists for the position:
· Jon Draud, state representative for the 63rd District and a former superintendent of the Ludlow Independent school district
· Richard Hughes, a professor at Morehead State University and former superintendent of the Hardin County school district
· Larry Vick, superintendent of the Owensboro Independent school district
· Jim Warford, executive director/CEO of the Florida Association of School Administrators and a former chancellor for Florida’s public schools.

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