Thursday, October 12, 2006


Don Weiss: Board Will Fix Standards

Don Weiss, the Democratic Candidate for Kansas State Board of Education from District 3, had this response to Gov. Sebelius' suggestion that she would consider an ammendment to the Kansas Constitution strip the state school board of its powers:

In an article in the Topeka Capital-Journal on October 11, 2006, the Governor called for a constitutional amendment stripping the State Board of Education of most of its powers, making it an advisory board.

Let’s consider all that has happened in the last year before we start changing the Kansas constitution.

A year ago, the conservatives were in firm control of the Board. By the time the candidate filing deadline passed, an unprecedented 16 candidates filed for 5 Board positions. All four conservative seats up for election in this cycle had strong moderate challengers on both the republican and democratic sides of the ballot. Last August, when the primary election was over, Connie Morris lost, the son-in-law of retiring member Iris Van Meter lost, Bacon barely survived with less than a majority, and only Willard received a comfortable majority.

The Governor is correct that taxpayers, business owners, and parents must hold their Board accountable. They have. In the upcoming general election, the Board is guaranteed at least a 6 – 4 majority of moderates. Jack Wempe and I are running very strong campaigns against the remaining two conservatives so that we can achieve a strong 8 – 2 moderate majority that is flip-flop proof, and will allow at least four years of stability and real progress for public education in Kansas no matter what happens in the 2008 election.

I believe the new Board will quickly fix the science standards, find an experienced Commissioner of Education, and will be anxious to start working on the real problems of making sure that public education in Kansas allows our kids to complete successfully in a global economy.


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