"...no one from outside the state
could better serve our children
than a Kentucky superintendent..."
-- Wilson Sears
For weeks the board has been bragging about the quality of its candidates for Education Commissioner. But key state players appear to be underwhelmed by the choices.
This is pretty much what the state board of education didn't need.
Having avoided any candidates with major cons, some are left wondering about the pros.
This from C-J:
Superintendents group objects to education chief finalists
The head of the state's superintendent association has raised concerns about the four finalists for the state's next education commissioner.
The state Board of Education announced Friday it had whittled its education commissioner choices to four out-of-state finalists, who will be interviewed Wednesday. The board is hoping to name a new commissioner by Aug. 1.
In an e-mail sent to state superintendents Friday, Wilson Sears lamented that no Kentucky candidates were among the finalists, and he encouraged state school superintendents who share that concern to contact state Board of Education members.
"To say the least, the Executive Committee of KASS (Kentucky Association of School Superintendents) is concerned that no candidate from Kentucky is a finalist for the commissioner position," said Sears, KASS' executive director and former superintendent of Somerset Independent Schools.
"We feel that a Kentucky superintendent could 'hit the ground running' and provide us the leadership necessary to move the quality of education in Kentucky forward," he wrote in the e-mail. "We believe that immediate continuation of improvement is urgent, and that no one from outside the state could better serve our children than a Kentucky superintendent who already has the knowledge, awareness, and understanding of our history." ...
"We're disappointed that the Kentucky candidates didn't get a better look," said Cindy Heine, Prichard's associate executive director, speaking on behalf of the committee. "The four finalists look like fine candidates, but they are not the level you would expect for one of the top education commission posts in the country."
Board chair Joe Brothers told C-J that "while the board had some strong Kentucky candidates, it felt that the four finalists selected were the most qualified."
The board told Tom Shelton, last week, that a lack of national experience made the difference. So it would seem fair to say that the board did not give preference to in state candidates. The superintendents seems to think it should have.