On Wednesday, KSN&C speculated,
... apparently, some of our own Kentucky folks felt like they were being recruited by the board in the first place and told how great they'd be. Then, not selected -none of them.Since that time KSN&C has made inquiries and attempted to move beyond speculation and nail down the facts.
In a statement released to KSN&C today, Kentucky Board of Education Chair Joe Brothers clarified the board's perspective on the matter.
The Board has been very careful to indicate from the beginning that this is a national search and that it is open to all. In fact, many persons approached KBE members individually supporting this or that person even before we knew whether or not they had applied. Board members have tried to be very careful to thank people, encourage whoever that so desires to apply, and tell them about application contact information. Throughout the process, the KBE has been very careful to tell all people that the Board is committed to hire the very best candidate.
The process used by the search firm includes follow up on information from three sources: those that applied, potential applicants referred to the search firm by stakeholders groups and others, including the search firm’s database. Also, the position was advertised in the Courier Journal, Herald-Leader, on the KDE website and in several national education related publications.
Contacts from search firms are fairly common in most professions, but I don’t think people typically take them as a commitment to hire, or for that matter, any kind of
Brothers described the process used by the Board saying,
The Board has very carefully reviewed the qualifications of all candidates including extensive reference checks and is continuing to do so. The search continues to be very thorough, striving to assure that we are fair to all while securing the very best applicant for our children.Not only that, but the board was careful to give itself maximum flexibility by keeping the application period open-ended. The Board was still accepting applications even after the first round of interviews on July 8th. I suppose this explains how he could check with Fayette County Schools Superintendent Stu Silberman earlier in the week.
So, why no Kentuckians? Brothers said,
The Board has a heart for Kentucky applicants and I can assure you that every board member would have been pleased to see a Kentuckian among the finalists.
We reviewed each candidate’s qualifications based on the criteria and characteristics we agreed were critical for Kentucky’s next Commissioner. One of those was knowledge of Kentucky’s reform and SB 1 in particular. The Board concluded that the candidates selected were those we believe are strongest across all of the criteria.
Our Kentucky candidates were strong and their willingness to serve is greatly appreciated. We do hope that their interest in developing their careers in education remains high and believe that they will have excellent opportunities in their future!
The Kentucky Board of Education is still asking for input. Brothers said the board is committed to considering all comments from stakeholders. Further, I know from first-hand communications that the board is much more open to, and encouraging of, candidate research than has sometimes been the case in the past. This is a positive development.
Their next meeting is scheduled for July 17th.
SOURCE: Board of education communication
Final note: In Wednesday's piece I wrote of my chat with Silberman; "he said something that helped me better understand..." While I did not intend that phrase to infer that Stu was providing confirmed facts, someone apparently took it that way and raised the question with him the other night. To clarify, Silberman's comments to me were hypothetical. His speculation was shared by others I consulted subsequently, but was not a confirmed fact. If my inartful writing was ambiguous, or left a different impression with the reader, I apologize.