Archive for Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Corkins formally hired; paid consultant off the table

October 11, 2005


It's official.

The Kansas State Board of Education today confirmed the hiring of Bob Corkins as the new education commissioner at a salary of $140,000 plus benefits.

But the board, meeting in Lawrence, took no action on Corkins' earlier request to hire a consultant for $15,000 to help him in the transition to his new job.

The appointment of Corkins of Lawrence has touched off a public furor.

Corkins has no background in education, and has spent the last few years lobbying against school funding increases as the sole employee of two conservative think tanks.

The criticism of Corkins continued today at the board meeting.

Board member Bill Wagnon, a Democrat whose district includes Lawrence, said the salary for Corkins was "outrageous" and didn't reflect his lack of job experience.

But Board Chairman Steve Abrams, a Republican from of Arkansas City, defended Corkins and his salary. "This is a difficult job and we expect good performance," Abrams said.

The board approved Corkins' hiring 6-4.

Conservatives Abrams, Kathy Martin, Connie Morris, Iris Van Meter, John Bacon and Ken Willard voted for Corkins. Wagnon, Sue Gamble, Janet Waugh and Carol Rupe voted against him.

Corkins said he would be a commissioner for the entire board, and said he has been impressed with the dedication of teachers and staff he has visited with over the past week.

But Corkins' proposal to hire a conservative consultant to help him in the transition was not discussed.

When asked about that, Abrams said more information was needed on the proposal before the board could consider it.

Corkins will replace Andy Tompkins, who resigned earlier this year and is now an associate professor at Kansas University.

During the public comment period, several residents criticized the hiring of Corkins.

But most speakers urged the board to maintain the current policy of allowing school districts to provide sex education unless a student's parents opt out of the class. Several conservatives on the board have said they want parents to opt-in, meaning they would have to sign a permission slip to allow their children to attend sex education classes.

Many experts say such a policy will reduce the number of students getting important information on preventing sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancies.


Sandman 12 years, 8 months ago

It's been fun to do a word count on these articles.

The adjective "Conservative" appears four times in this article.

The word liberal never appears.

In a October 6th editorial, the word "Conservative" appears ten times.

Eight articles and an editorial in the last week, all painting this as some right-wing cabal. Apparently, the opposition to Corkins are all even-tempered moderates.

If you ever wondered about media bias at the LJW, just read the slant of these stories.


Raider 12 years, 8 months ago

The fact that the 6 who voted for him are the same 6 that are wanting to move our educational standards back 150 yrs apparently eludes you. The 6 who voted for this man ARE ultra right-wing (crazies)conservatives.

Connie Morris should have been removed for fraud, yet her other cronies kept discipline from being served. Of course these people want someone like Corkins. He justifies their agenda.

Also, for what it's worth, can you explain how someone is the "sole employee" of a think tank?

Dani Davey 12 years, 8 months ago

So, if I call myself a think tank, can I get some sort of government stipend? I do a lot of thinking...

schmang 12 years, 8 months ago

LJW has a liberal slant? Yeah Right -Dolph Simons Jr. is about as right-wing as it gets -ever read any of his Saturday editorials? Defending Bush gaffes is his favorite pastime. But I'm sure he's very open-minded about writers putting a liberal slant on their stories....

What consistently amazes me is the cry of "liberal media" by conservatives anytime the media points out (very correctly, in this case) nefarious activity on their part. I guess when they caught Clinton in a scandal, it was just good reporting. But when it's Tom Delay, Bill Frist and Karl Rove, why it's damn the liberal media.

The Conservative Majority (I do like "Cabal," though) on the KS School Board are a joke, Steve Abrahams first and foremost. The power trip Steve has been on all these years -at the public's expense- needs to stop.

Republicans need to vote in their primaries and quit letting the evangelical minority dicate our school policy. Are there no moderate republicans in Ark City? Sheesh...

Frank Smith 12 years, 8 months ago

"Conservative" really is a misnomer, in the case of these Neanderthals. They don't want to teach world history, they don't want to teach the children of immigrants, regardless of citizenship, they don't want to teach ANY sex education, and if they're forced to, only "abstinence only" and only when parents specifically request it. Since it's been proven dangerous and worthless, fat chance sex ed will continue in Kansas. As far as the teaching of evolution is concerned, our schools are currently being run by the Kansas Chapter of the Flat Earth Society. These are the direct descendants of the church Inquistors who tried Galileo for teaching Copernican theory. And his answer, when sentenced to permanent house arrest, fits this bunch to a tee. "Che poi, stante che 'l mio libro non fusse sottoposto, et cetera." ("Enough of this nonsense.")

kidfresh 12 years, 8 months ago

Not to belabor a point, but if you can't at least label the 6-member majority as "conservative", what system of gradation are you using? As has been mentioned before, the 4-member dissenting group consists of two Republicans (Gamble and Rupe) and two Democrats (Waugh and Wagnon). Democrats from Kansas no less (not exactly the Upper West Side). I wouldn't start labeling that group "liberal". Now of course the truly liberal side of the population (about half of Lawrence, and the blue-collar areas of Wichita and KCK) disagree with the position of the "conservative" majority, but it's plain to me that the opposition's side also includes a great deal of moderates/independents. Including the sizable group of Republicans who have put Dennis Moore into office in response to the consistantly "conservative" candidates their own party runs. Just because one side is extremely conservative, doesn't make the other side extremely liberal (or even liberal at all). It isn't an either/or proposition. If you can't see this, then you need a new political spectrometer.

b_asinbeer 12 years, 8 months ago're my newest hero! I agree with you 100%.

Morgss 12 years, 8 months ago


Take a full size road map of Kansas.   Lay the map on your kitchen table.   Find a cap from a bottle of soda.   Place the cap directly on Lawrence.   Step back and take a good hard look.  If you can state you and those agreeing with your political beliefs comprehend more than the population represented uncovered.  You my friend are an elitist.  Now, begin flapping your arms and screaming how unfair it is.   Scream louder and louder, flap your arms vigorously.  You are now demonstrating how our wonderful states' overwhelming voting population  views Lawrence.

The sad or great part of your theory is Republicans do vote in mass.  They actually make an effort to vote.  Last time I checked folks with the most votes win.   Folks who scream like 3rd grade schoolgirls lose.  Remember Howie Dean?   Keep flappin, remember the voters of Johnson County, and the backbone of The Great State of Kansas. Farmers and ranchers.

johngalt 12 years, 8 months ago

Man, just admit it that there is a bias to the left in the media.

The bias among Kansas media is far less pronounced than the national media, but it is there nonetheless.

The fact that some of you see no problem with labeling people on the right but not having labels for those on the left is a great example of the bias. Rothschild probably doesn't see the problem either.

Rupe and Gamble are Republicans and they are liberal. I know many, many, many Democrats more conservative than those fine ladies.

Someone tell me why Willard is a conservative but Gamble and Rupe are not liberal? Please enlighten me.

johngalt 12 years, 8 months ago

I've read "What's the Matter with Kansas". Frank is right that our economy sucks, but he make no case that some right wing policies have caused it.

Please tell me what right-wing, free mkt things the Kansas legislature has enacted in the last 10,15 years?

wendt: nice, intelligent response. Way to deal with the issues.

jayhawktownie 12 years, 8 months ago

may i propose that the national media's bias is not liberal, it is simply educated.

Arminius - did it ever occur to you that the Journal World is a conservatively run company in a liberal population zone, therefore they run some liberal pieces to pad readership numbers?

And while we are on the theme of education: proposing that someone carry out an experiment such as you have and then stating as fact that the results will support your opinion without completing the experiment yourself is not exactly good science. Or good debate tactics for that matter.

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