Monday, August 17, 2015

KBE chair: No talk of making finalists’ names public until after pool reduced at Aug. 25 Lexington meeting

This from KSBA:
At the end of a marathon, two-day series of interviews, the Kentucky Board of Education Saturday directed its search consultants to conduct in-depth background and reference checks on an unannounced number of semifinalists to become the state’s sixth commissioner of education.

KBE Chairman Roger Marcum told eNews after the meeting that other candidates still could be added to the 12 semifinalists interviewed. He declined to say whether all 12 remain under consideration. A state Department of Education news release simply noted that “leading candidates” would undergo further scrutiny by Greenwood/Asher & Associates, the Florida-based search firm assisting the state board.

When asked what issues KBE members raised during the interviews, Marcum’s response confirmed that the pool includes at least one Kentuckian.

“We have a mixture of Kentucky and national folks, so we want to know why they are interested in this position,” Marcum said.

“We want to know their ability to lead the work that’s being done in Kentucky – work around college and career readiness and future initiatives like Kentucky Rising,” he said. “We also want to know about their ability to build relationships with our partners, do they have the capacity to manage a state agency – some folks have more experience with that than others. And then why are they interested in Kentucky.”

Marcum said he was impressed with the quality of the candidates and their responses to questions. After what he called a “difficult two days with 12 interviews,” he assessed, “We are where we wanted to be within our timeline.”

The next stop on that timeline will be a meeting Aug. 25 in a Lexington hotel, where the Greenwood/Asher representatives will share the results of the background checks. Then KBE members will discuss whether they’re ready to pare the field to a set of finalists for a second round of face-to-face interviews in Lexington Aug. 28 and 29.

“We hope to be conducting some final interviews on the 28th and 29th. We hope on the 25th, we can hope to move in that direction,” said Marcum, a former Marion County Schools superintendent who was recently re-elected as KBE chairman.

When – or if – the public will know the identities of the final candidates to replace retiring Commissioner Terry Holliday remains undetermined.

“That’s still a discussion on the 25th. We still haven’t gotten that far at this point. I don’t want to speak to that because we haven’t had that discussion yet. I don’t think we’re ready to do that,” Marcum said. However, he added that he doesn’t envision a scenario in which the state board wouldn’t announce its final candidates prior to making a decision.

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