Thursday, October 2, 2008

The Corns Appointment: The wrong message at the wrong time

"This is the wrong message to send at the wrong time," said Martin Cothran in response to today's announcement by the Kentucky Department of Education that the author of the decision that resulted in the Kentucky Education Reform Act has been appointed to the #2 state schools post.

State Education Commissioner Jon Draud appointed Ray Corns, the former Franklin County judge who authored the Rose vs. Council for Better Education decision of 1988, to the post of associate commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Education’s Office of Legal, Legislative and Communications Services.

"The Rose decision was one of the most political decisions ever made by a state court," said Cothran, senior policy analyst for the group, "and went well beyond the call for equal funding by requiring the state legislature to completely turn Kentucky's schools upside down in the interest of a misguided egalitarianism."

"Why, at a time when we are trying to fix problems that his court had a hand in creating, are we appointing a member of that court to a position of prominence?" Cothran said the decision didn't fix what it was supposed to fix--inequalities in the state's education system--and it created new problems for which the state is now trying to find solutions through a task force that the Department of Education has had to convene.

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