Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Kentucky's Education Odd Couple That Isn't

There is an interesting story in the Baltimore Sun about the Democratic governor in Maryland trying to run off the Republican state superintendent of schools.

Governor Steve Beshear already tried to get the state school board to not hire now-education commissioner (and former GOP state representative) Jon Draud. But while the difference between the two officials in Maryland has some basis in ideological conflict, their Kentucky counterparts seem to have little if anything they disagree about in terms of policy.

The education story for 2008, though, may well be that budget realities force a much tighter fiscal rein on the education establishment and an overhaul of the fraudulent CATS program, something neither Draud nor Beshear would ever be inclined to pursue in fatter economic times.

Specifically, what we need is an outside financial audit from the top of the Kentucky Department of Education to the bottom of the smallest elementary school. A bill to mandate this and to strip the KDE of the ability to grade itself with the CATS testing should be something both parties can get behind.

The education bureaucracy will be much easier to handle when their game is exposed for all to see.