And So It Goes… Frank Edelblut, a Creationist Homeschooling Parent with No Links to Public Education, Is Now Commissioner
Union Leader writer Dan Tuohy reports that the Executive Council has approved the appointment of Frank Edelblut as Commissioner of Education in New Hampshire. The lead paragraphs:
The Executive Council voted 3-2 to confirm former state Rep. Frank Edelblut, a Republican who ran unsuccessfully for governor last year, as commissioner of the New Hampshire Department of Education.
The vote today came down along party lines. Republicans David Wheeler of Milford, Russell Prescott of Kingston, and Joseph Kenney of Union voted in favor of Edelblut. Democrats Chris Pappas of Manchester and Andru Volinsky of Concord opposed the nominee.
Mr. Tuohy indicated that the State Board Chair, who will probably be unseated in the near future once Governor Sununu appoints new Board members, was opposed to the appointment based on “57 pages of emails he received opposing Mr. Edelblut, a number that was offset by one solitary email in his support. One supporter spoke on hist behalf to Mr. Tuohy:
Shannon McGinley, a board member of Cornerstone Action, applauded the confirmation, calling Edelblut committed to “fostering academic excellence for New Hampshire’s children.” In a statement, she said the public hearing on the nomination veered from education to Edelblut’s religious beliefs, which have no bearing on the job in question.
“He understands that children are ill-served by a one-size-fits-all approach to education,” McGinley said in a statement. “He trusts parents to make wise decisions regarding their children’s education. He trusts local boards and teachers more than the federal government when it comes to making curriculum choices. All of this, plus his extensive administrative experience, make him an excellent choice for Education Commissioner.”
I am glad Mr. Edelblut “…understands that children are ill-served by a one-size-fits-all approach to education”… I only hope that by the time he takes office he will appreciate the fact that New Hampshire already eschews the “one-size-fits-all approach to education” and has laws in place that enable districts to use approaches that meet the needs of each child. I also hope that he shows that he “trusts local boards and teachers” by engaging them in the development of the State accountability system and by allowing boards to govern all schools that receive state or federal funding. I am open to the possibility that Mr. Edelblut could be up to the task of governing a complicated government agency… but I fear that like our current President and many other private-sector-CEOs he might find himself at odds with democratic governance. I hope my fears are unfounded.