Archive for Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Corkins, Morris not well-received in tour out west

November 16, 2005


— Education Commissioner Bob Corkins and State Board of Education member Connie Morris promoted charter schools on a two-day tour of western Kansas that ended Tuesday.

But the subject didn't go over so well, according to folks who attended the meetings.

"It was not a warm and fuzzy meeting at all," said Marvin Selby, superintendent of the Goodland school district.

"We certainly found out what their agenda is," said Wes Fox, a history teacher at Liberal High School. "It is to promote charter schools."

Corkins and Morris, a Republican from St. Francis, visited 12 western Kansas cities on Monday and Tuesday, scheduling 30 minutes at each stop.

Corkins has promoted changing Kansas law to allow more charter schools, which are schools that are not subject to some of the same rules and regulations as a traditional public school. Morris has spoken in favor of starting a charter school to help students start their own businesses.

Corkins also supports voucher plans that would allow at-risk or special-needs students to receive state tax assistance to attend private schools. He said the move to more charter schools and vouchers would improve education by increasing competition and giving parents more choices for their children's education.

Kirk Nielsen, superintendent of the Colby district, said Corkins spent much of the meeting time "trying to convince us he was up to the job."

Corkins was hired in October for the $140,000-per-year job by the board's 6-4 conservative majority, which includes Morris.

The state education board has come under fire from many quarters for hiring Corkins, whose background is in conservative activism and as an opponent of public schools. He has no professional education experience.

Nielsen said Corkins also spoke in support of charter schools and private school vouchers for special education students.

But public school districts already are required to provide services to students if they attend private schools. "I don't know if he knows that," he said.

In Goodland, Supt. Selby said the meeting didn't go well. A retired teacher told Corkins she disagreed with "everything he said. It got worse from there," Selby said.

The issues of vouchers and charter schools are not on the front burner in western Kansas, he said, like other issues are, such as the difficulty in attracting science and math teachers to the region.

In Liberal, history teacher Fox took his advance placement class to the meeting.

He said Corkins and Morris spoke at the meeting about charter schools and vouchers, but that he wished they had come to hear about "what makes the school tick."


Richard Heckler 12 years, 7 months ago

1.It's time to ask how will the charter schools be funded? 2.Where will the money come from? 3.What will the curriculum look like? 4.Will the subject matter have Christian leanings such as Christian Math,Chhristian English? This is what CHECK provides. 5. Will these be private schools? Operated by whom?

The taxpayers need very specific answers.

Richard Heckler 12 years, 7 months ago

Thank god they did not receive a warm welcome.

John1945 12 years, 7 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

John1945 12 years, 7 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Densmore 12 years, 7 months ago

I read John1945's first post. I didn't agree with him, but I don't recall seeing anything that would warrant it's removal. John-did you say something objectionable?

I did not read John's second post. John, can you re-phrase?

I rarely see eye to eye with John, but I believe that it is important that he be heard.

Kodiac 12 years, 7 months ago


I agree with you. I think everyone should be heard especially John. I do disagree with most of the things he says and the way he says it but I think he does make you think about your own position and challenges you. I am wondering what causes a comment to be removed. This has not been the first time for John nor will it be the last.

avhjmlk 12 years, 7 months ago

This is further evidence of comments made following other articles--that the removal of posts is becoming less and less about obvious offensiveness, and more and more random...

Godot 12 years, 7 months ago

It appears to me that Corkins and Morris were ambushed. Two or three people showing up with an agenda to put these people down, and acting quite rudely, do, indeed, make for a cool reception. But we don't know who else was at the meetings and how they reacted, do we? Another great job of hack reporting, LJW.

yourworstnightmare 12 years, 7 months ago


I got censored for posting in japanese and for mentioning Connie Morris' nude photographs.

Oops. This one will probably be censored again...

yourworstnightmare 12 years, 7 months ago


Maybe those people had just seen Connie Morris' nude photographs.

John1945 12 years, 7 months ago

"Posted by yourworstnightmare (anonymous) on November 16, 2005 at 5:25 p.m. (Suggest removal)


Maybe those people had just seen Connie Morris' nude photographs."

That's funny.

Guys, it's been a bad day at the blog for me. I didn't think I'd said anything too bizarre either today, but I got nailed 3 times. Once when discussing Saint Timothy of Miller and the two on here that basically criticized what I considered to be horribly biased reporting.

Thanks to all who've expressed concern over the posts, I appreciate it. I personally think if you're trying to make a logical argument without being too nasty to the other guy you should be left alone, but then obviously I haven't figured out what the standards are here, and I don't think I want to self-censor myself to the extent it tales to not have an occasional bounce (or 3). Hey, if they want to throw me off................. But agin, thanks for the kind words. I have a long memory.

Rick Davis 12 years, 7 months ago

First of all godot, it is no suprise to see a one sided story written by Scott Rothschild, in fact I would be suprised to ever see a story that didn't scream his own political beliefs. I think if it went against his beleifs he could write a story to sound like the whole town disliked ice cream.

Now on to the actual issue. Charter schools will be funded and operated be private individuals with subsidies (or vouchers) provided for low income families so they can experience the same level of choice as wealthier americans. Someone mentioned earlier that if connie wanted her kids to go to private school she could take the there. He was right but many families cannot due to a lack of means and this system provides everyone the opportunity to choose, something our country was founded on.

Many of the complaints that I hear about public schools include underfunding and over sized class rooms. Wouldn't having more schools to choose from provide smaller class sizes, much like if Lawrence opened another Mcdonald's each one would see less customers? And if school's have less students can't funds be better aproriated to enhance the education of the students remaining in the public education system.

it is time that people open up and see that vouchers and charter schools are not about ruining public education but rather providing opportunities to lower to middle income families that currently are availible only to wealthy parents. And that's something ever Liberal should love!!

Godot 12 years, 7 months ago

I am glad that finally there is someone who is not a part of the education kabal to question what is going on with education in Kansas. To put a member of the KNEA, such as a teacher or superintendant, in a position to monitor the education process in Kansas, is the epitome of "what's the matter with Kansas." We need someone who is not allied with the status quo to shake things up.

Whatever became of the concept of "honeymoon"? This Corkins guy has been attacked by the libs since the day he took office. The worst offense I've heard is when Sebelius attacked him, publicly, before he has even had a chance to get settled into his position.

Hey, GOV, Corkins is a hired employee of YOUR unclassified system. How DARE you criticize him before he has even had the chance to perform? As if performance was ever a standard for government employees.........

GiveMeABreak 12 years, 7 months ago

The criticisms of Corkins by those Godot would paint as "liberals" (as if this were a dirty word) are based upon Corkins' own long history of opposing public education in his miniature fiefdoms that he called "think tanks". And his past views are, naturally, coming into the picture now as he tries to ram his ultra conservative theocratic view of the world down the throats of Kansas taxpayers. I'm from western Kansas. I would consider myself socially liberal but fiscally conservative. You'd be surprised how that's true of many out that way. We aren't country bumpkins or hicks and we don't want to be put in the same boat as the religious zealots and the anti-government-all-taxes-are-bad wingnuts. Corkins' chicken has come home to roost. It's just a matter of time before we Kansans elect a new BOE who will kick him right out on his arrogant never-done-any-real-work-before butt.

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