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Edelblut Appointment Delayed… But Evidently Inevitable

February 2, 2017

An AP story in today’s Valley News reported that the Executive Council, the five-member body empowered to review appointments made by the Governor in New Hampshire, voted unanimously to defer action on the appointment of businessman-creationist-homeschooling-parent Frank Edelblut as Commissioner of Education because Governor Sununu neglected to consult with the State Board before nominating Mr. Edelblut. But as the article indicates, the delay is unlikely to change the result:

The delay, which (Democrat) Volinsky said was not a stalling tactic, isn’t likely to change the outcome of the vote. The five-member council’s three Republicans all said on Wednesday they plan to vote for him. Councilor Russell Prescott even said constituents who call him during the next two weeks should not expect to change his mind.

“I will be voting for Frank Edelblut for commissioner of education unless something really different happens,” he said. “If they call me on this, they’re going to get a person that has made up their mind.”

Two other councilors, Democrat Chris Pappas and Republican Joe Kenney, suggested Edelblut take the next two weeks to meet with educators around the state and employees of the education department, something he’s not yet done.

“As someone who lacks the education credentials that past commissioners of education have possessed, I think it’s very important that he gets to know the experts within the department,” Pappas said.

Unless I’m wrong, given the political realities the “educators” Mr. Edelblut will meet with are likely to be a hand-picked group who support his ideas (there may be a handful somewhere in the state) and the “employees of the education department” will be reluctant to push back for fear of retaliation when his inevitable appointment occurs and may even say something nice about his ideas about “personalization” since that is an initiative they have undertaken.

At some juncture, I will need to accept that the paradigm of democratically controlled public schools is gone, replaced by a market-based two tiered system. Stay tuned for that analysis….


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