Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Draud, board failed early tests

Today H-L did a fair capstone piece summarizing Commissioner Draud's recent scrapes and moved toward refocusing on the work to be done. Draud may not like the implications, but it would seem he was hoist by his own petard.

Even among the many practicing school administrators who roundly supported Draud becoming commissioner, there has always been an underlying narrative that said he was uncommonly arrogant. "The car" episode only served to reinforce previously held opinions.

Let's hope Draud will continue to speak the truth about Kentucky's need to better support its legislated goals - that providing Kentucky children with a world-class education on a mediocre budget is a foolish dream that will never come true.

Let's also hope the most recent embarrassment will not prevent Kentuckians from hearing Draud's important message.

H-L says:
State schools need better leadership

In his six months as commissioner of education, Kentuckians have learned more than they ever wanted to know about Jon Draud's automotive needs.

We don't begrudge Draud his [car]....

Nor do we condemn him for seeking the 50 days in paid leave and sick days that he lost...

What is worrisome is that Draud and the board that hired him were unable to handle these mundane matters without inviting criticism and controversy.

Their performance does not inspire confidence that Draud was prepared for the job.

...he botched his response to The Courier-Journal's questions about the extras he ordered for his state car...

...The board, which had famously bungled one search, rejected Beshear's request [to search nationally] and hired Draud, a Republican legislator who had never managed anything bigger than a local school district...

...Draud and the board must get their acts together. They have important work to do and can't waste two years drifting in and out of petty controversies of their own creation.

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