Sunday, July 05, 2009

Preliminary Review of Commissioner Finalists Free of Significant Concerns

A review of selected articles outlining the carrers of the four finalists is now posted. They are huge. For chronological order, start at the bottom and scroll up. Jump to them here:
Dennis Cheek
Catherine Cross Maple
Terry Holliday
Michael Sentance

I will soon turn to analysis.

Reviewing the public utterances of the four finalists for Kentucy Education Commissioner and the issues surrounding their work involved approximately 24 hours over the long weekend; revewing more than 650 articles revealed by dozens of database and search engine searches.

I'm not quite finished with my review, and have yet to form an opinion as to my own preference for the post, but I believe if there was a major concern about any of the candidates that made it into a newspaper anywhere in the country, I would have found a hint of it by now.

I did elude, in this weekend's mega-post, to an apparent error on the Excelsior College website regarding the claim of a superintendency by Dennis Cheek.

KSN&C contacted Dr. Cheek for clarification. His response follows:

This is actually not a mistake but a confusion that arises from the following complicated situation in RI.

While serving as a Director at the RI Department of Education, I also functioned as the “superintendent” of the ten state-supported career and technical centers in RI for several years. These institutions were in 14 buildings located around the state. The building were owned by the state with principals appointed by the Department of Education and all programs overseen by the state.

I was responsible for annually petitioning the legislature for repair monies, supervising repairs and new construction, permitting, health and safety codes, all materials, hardware, etc. as well as personnel policies, accountability and all the things that a superintendent normally has to supervise. I was also certified as a superintendent.

The students came from various districts within that particular region, or in cases where a program was not regionally available, from other regions. Tuitions per student were charged back to the local districts with yours truly also having to often intervene with local districts to ensure that tuition bills were paid.

While each local career and tech center had its own board, RIDE itself and the Board of Regents were the “super board” with power to remove principals or override local board decisions. I hope this clarifies the matter.

The superintendency not listed as a major heading on Cheek's resume, only a bullet point, and I missed it. So the confusion was not Excelsior's, but mine.

More later.

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