This from the Daily Independent:
...Dr Terry Holliday will assume his new position on Aug. 5 and will receive $225,000 a year, or $20,00 more than he was earning in North Carolina.Members of the state school board had nothing but praise for Holliday.
“Dr. Holliday has built his reputation based upon an emphasis on what is best for kids,” board Chairman Joe Brothers said.
Former state Sen. David Karem, now a member of the state education board, said Holliday also is a likable man with a strong personality. “I think he will sell very well across the state,” he said.
Holliday said he has never been subjected to a more thorough background check than the one he underwent for this job. Such close scrutiny of candidates is a positive school board members had to learn the hard way. Two years ago, the board hired Barbara Erwin as education commissioner, but immediately afterwards, many holes in her resume were found by the media and educators [numerous problems first reported by Kentucky School News and Commentary], forcing Erwin to resign before her first day as commissioner.
If the school board had employed the same type of scrutiny with Erwin that Holliday said he underwent — and if the firm the school board had hired to help it select the best applicants had done it job — the embarrassment over Erwin’s hiring could have been avoided.
“This board went through an arduous process,” said board member Dorie Combs. “I believe we have the right candidate for the right time.”
Let us hope she is right.
The Kentucky Education Reform Act is undergoing its first major review since its enactment almost 20 years ago. As commissioner, Holliday must be a strong defender of keeping and strengthening what is right about KERA while changing where the reform act has fallen short of meeting its ambitions. The goal should be not to abolish KERA but to make it better.
While he has never worked in Kentucky, Holliday is familiar with KERA. The new commissioner said he likes the way the law sets high standards and holds both schools and teachers accountable. He said Kentucky has earned a national reputation for the improvements it has made in the elementary and secondary education, and he wants to be a part of that success story.
We do not know enough about Terry Holliday to pass judgment on him. We only hope he proves to be as good as school board members believe he will be.