Saturday, May 26, 2007


Williard: It's About More Than Just Evolution

Much of the coverage about the possible election of Ken Willard as president of the National Association of State Boards of Education -- his only opponent withdrew from the race after the nomination period ended -- has focused on Willard's support for writing creationism into the Kansas science curriculum.

Scientists in particular have been prominent advocates of a campaign to write-in the name of Sam Schloemer of Cincinnati, Ohio.

But Jack Krebs, president of Kansas Citizens for Science, says NASBE members should be made aware of Willard's anti-education history in Kansas, as well.

"They should know that he was a vocal leader and really stood for some anti-education initiatives," Krebs told The Parsons Sun. "He and the board both didn't follow policies and supported creationism in science standards and didn't listen to the experts and I think that shows a disregard for working within normal channels. That's not a good thing for someone heading a national education organization."

Beyond the science issues, Krebs says NASBE's president would have the status to lobby Congress on certain issues such as the No Child Left Behind act.

"I do believe he could keep that organization from going in the direction that a majority of school boards would like it to go," says Krebs.

Willard voted to take the right to approve new charter schools from local districts and give it to the state board. He's also a strong supporter of vouchers.

In 2005, the NASBE took the highly unusual step of withdrawing from its role as adviser to the Kansas school board on the search for a new education commissioner citing "irregularities" in the process followed by Willard and other conservatives on the board.

A letter written by Brenda Lilienthal Welburn, chief executive officer of NASBE to the Kansas board expresses disappointment at not being "treated with the mutual respect I extended to the Board."

The process followed by conservatives shunted aside qualified candidates for commissioner leading to the ill-fated appointment of Bob Corkins.

The sad fact is, Ken Willard is a far-right opponent of public education who will use his post as president of NASBE to undermine public schools. If he's elected, the disaster that's been visited on Kansas will infect the nation as a whole.


<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?