The New York Times and Paul Decelles point out that wingnut Kansas Board of Ed. member Kenneth Willard is running unopposed to be president of the National Association of State Boards of Education. Willard’s faults include voting for and strongly promoting the atrocious science standards last year. He beat Jack Wempe and Donna Viola in last year’s elections.
Paul Decelles explains the problem:
Willard says that his disagreement with Darwin has nothing to do with the association’s work. And personally if I felt that Willard could be impartial and genuinely interested in education, OK.
But remember, he is part of the same group that wasted thousands of tax payer dollars, not to mention thousands of man hours, on sham evolution hearings in 2005. And he voted for a poorly qualified candidate, Bob Corkins, to be Commissioner of Education in Kansas.
The thing is, Paul actually understates the case. Willard didn’t just vote for Corkins, he fired the NASBE (the group he’s about to preside over) because they didn’t recommend Corkins. The Board had hired NASBE to run the search for an education commissioner. They then complained that the NASBE wouldn’t let them look at all the applications, and tried to rejigger their selection criteria, presumably for the benefit of the conservative’s favored candidates.
In a letter to the Kansas Board, the NASBE executive director stated:
I have conducted and participated in Chief searches for more than 15 years and I have never agreed to have applications out of a controlled environment. It violates the most fundamental principles of personnel practices. I want it to be clear that I had no problem with the Board changing the scoring matrix, but with the decision to have the applications withdrawn from a controlled environment which was unacceptable.
I framed our letter of withdrawal in a way that I had hoped would also not reflect negatively on the Board. I was deeply disappointed then to be disparaged in the press and not treated with the mutual respect I extended to the Board.
That lack of respect would include Ken Willard’s comment that the NASBE “didn?t serve us well,” and that they dropped the ball. History shows that the Board, including and especially Willard, “didn’t serve us well,” and the selection of Bob Corkins, a man with no educational background, was a prominent example of their failures.
In his new position, Willard would be able to screw up school administrations in all 50 states.