Archive for Wednesday, August 9, 2006

Moderates see Corkins ouster, science switch

After election, new majority likely to overturn several recent decisions

August 9, 2006


— Moderates who will control the Kansas State Board of Education next year say it's only a question of time before they start undoing what the conservatives have done, chiefly dumping anti-evolution education standards and maybe the education commissioner, as well.

"I imagine everybody is anxious to get the science standards changed back to the mainstream. Whether it's January or February, that's up to the new board," moderate member Bill Wagnon, of Topeka, said Tuesday.

His comments came during a break in the board's first meeting since the Aug. 1 primary that signaled a switch in the 6-4 majority from conservative to moderate.

Wagnon, a Democrat, said he also wants to replace Commissioner Bob Corkins, hired last year by the conservatives although he lacked any experience as a school administrator.

"He's an at-will employee of the board. When he loses six votes, he's unemployed," said Wagnon, the longest-serving member at 10 years.

Corkins discounted the departure talk.

"You can't tell me who's going to be sitting on the board in January. That's speculation and I'm not going there," he said.

As for being ousted, Corkins said, "That's total speculation. I have no concern about that."

The new board will include moderates Sue Gamble of Overland Park, Carol Rupe of Wichita, and Wagnon - who aren't on the ballot this year - along with Democrat Janet Waugh of Kansas City, who is unopposed in the Nov. 7 general election.

The fifth moderate will be Republican Sally Cauble, of Liberal, who defeated current board member Connie Morris in the primary, or challenger Democrat Tim Cruz of Garden City. The sixth will be Republican Jana Shaver, of Independence, or Democrat Charles Runyan, of Pittsburg, replacing retiring conservative Iris Van Meter of Thayer.

A lively contest is expected between conservative Republican Ken Willard, of Hutchinson, and Democrat Jack Wempe of Lyon, former Kansas Board of Regents chairman. If Wempe beats the incumbent, it will give moderates a 7-3 edge.

Those seats will be decided in the Nov. 7 general election.

The outcome of the primary election didn't make chairman Steve Abrams of Arkansas City happy.

"Looks like the liberals will be in charge," he said. "I'd rather they not be in charge, but that's the way it is."

Abrams said he isn't giving up because, "I want to continue pushing what is right."

Board control has bounced back and forth since 1998, resulting in anti-evolution standards for student testing in 1999, evolution-friendly ones in 2001 and back to anti-evolution ones adopted last year and scheduled to take effect in the 2007-08 school year.

Gamble said it was too soon to discuss specifics, but added "all 6-4 votes will be under consideration, including sex ed, the commissioner and the science standards."

"It depends on the makeup of the board, but I expect, based on the campaigns, those are the issues that will be high on everybody's agenda," she added.

In March, the board voted to require the 296 school districts to get permission of parents before teaching their children sex education. Most districts assumed a child would participate unless a parent objected.

"We will revisit a lot of things," Waugh said.

Rupe said she also wants the science standards to be more mainstream because "it's what scientists believe is good science and I think our children should be taught good science."

As for Corkins' future, Rupe said, "The commissioner hasn't made any attempt to work with me, but we'll wait and see in January."


Kuku_Kansas 11 years, 8 months ago

Oh Bobby boy...

...the pipes, the pipes are calling.

usaschools 11 years, 8 months ago

Yes Consumer1, many people have this wild, crazy, even.....conservative...idea that people should be QUALIFIED for the jobs they hold. Sounds pretty radical I know.......I mean, for the highest education post in the state to be filled by a QUALIFIED candidate with job EXPERIENCE in, gulp, education!!!!!!!!!!! What on earth can these loopy dictators be thinking! How crazy to think one ought to qualify for that 6 figure salary paid by taxpayers! I mean, only hippies like Jimi Hendrix ask "Are you experienced, or have you ever been experienced?"

vanman 11 years, 8 months ago

Dust in the wind

all we are is like sand thru the hour glass

and so are the days of our lives

DaREEKKU 11 years, 8 months ago

That's the pot calling the kettle black consumer1. Good riddens you whack jobs who possess no logic or sense or responsibility.

Frank Smith 11 years, 8 months ago

It's Kent Runyan running for the seat in District 9, not "Carl" Runyan. John Bacon's seat is also in play. He won with just a plurality, and Bacon's chief opponent is endorsing the Democrat, Don Weiss.

Corkins isn't working for the Board of Education or the people of Kansas...he's a former employee essentially of Koch Industries, who are opposed to paying their fair share of taxes and would rather that burden be borne by $2.65 an hour waitresses and farm workers. There is no evidence that he has shifted his allegiance to Kansas schoolchildren, nor any liklihood that he might.

vanman 11 years, 8 months ago

iSnt the embodiement of "liberal" open-mindedness?

vanman 11 years, 8 months ago

You know, it sucks that they claimed the term "conservative" for themselves and tainted it. I think they actually qualify more as extremists

vanman 11 years, 8 months ago

I know!, we'll call this the "rational side" and that the "red-neck side"

feeble 11 years, 8 months ago


Congrats on your flame bait post, you sure proved the masses that you're "the man."

You win the internets, a series of tubes!


Grundoon Luna 11 years, 8 months ago

If conservatives like you spent more time on honest work rather than manipulation things may actually get accomplished. Then they would not have to suffer the disappointment and anguish of losing elected postions and cush appointments (looking to a bright future sans Coky on the latter).

prioress 11 years, 8 months ago

I'd keep Corky, at least for awhile. Tell him to shut up on vouchers and expanded charter schools; force him to go to the legislature to remind them they have not yet funded schools adequately, and evaluate the heck out of his performance in about 90 days. January is not the time to look for a new commissioner, if they want an experienced educator to take over. Just a thought. BTW: This is not a time to crow over "victory." The November elections are what counts, and anything can happen. Connie M says she won't run as a write-in, but could change her mind when the "godly" pump her up again. Things may be improving, but hold your breath and make sure all your friends actually vote. (You know, the 80% who never show up in August when it really counts.)

rhd99 11 years, 8 months ago

As Animal on Muppet Babbies used to say "GO BYE-BYE HEHEHEHEH". So long, CORKY you CHUMP! Don't let the door hit you on the way OUT, SUCKER! By the way, Connie Morris' trip, YOU pay the tab for her wasteful spending. Where's the money, BOB!? GET LOST, & Good RIDDANCE! You are the WEAKEST LINK, CORKY! G-BYE!

Grundoon Luna 11 years, 8 months ago

ROFLMAO! WTF does that mean? You misread these posts as bad or worse as Dub misreads his intelligence reports!!

BTW, fragile is the last word anyone would use to describe me. Bad @$$ mamma jamma maybe, but not fragile. HAHAHAHA.

BunE 11 years, 8 months ago

Poor consumer 1, did the elections get you down? You are so cute. Why not just yell "BURN" that would be really sweet.

I like it when conservatives reveal the meat of conservative thought - name calling -

When your ideology is based on selfishness and shortsighted rhetoric, you got nothing else.

yourworstnightmare 11 years, 8 months ago

Funny how when dolts like consumer1 lose an argument or are bested using logic, reason, or humor, they always resort to saying "Oh, I was just teasing, trying to get your goat".

Pathetic. It might make you feel better to justify your defeat, but most see it for what it is, pathetic.

ASBESTOS 11 years, 8 months ago

Wait a minute folks, ole COrky wasn't all band and can serve some good, for instance:

He can be used as a "bad example" for a DOE director.

He illustrates a "Good Example" of what not to do.

His "Vision" is one that if one has should gouge one's eyes out.

His "path" a road and journey glimpsed, and fortunately NOT TAKEN.

An example of what happens when the unqualified and inexperienced is appointed into a position of authority.

THe 6 whackos and Corky, (The Kansas 7 wahibists) an example of what "political conservative" is not and what "talibahn socialist extremist" is.


"The outcome of the primary election didn't make chairman Steve Abrams of Arkansas City happy.

"Looks like the liberals will be in charge," he said. "I'd rather they not be in charge, but that's the way it is.""

Atta BOY STEVIE, if the MODERATES on the school board and the candidates are liberal in YOUR book, you are an extreme wahak jopb, and need to go too.


ASBESTOS 11 years, 8 months ago

We had a Boston Terrier named "Corky". Bob really disrespects our dogs name!

Richard Heckler 11 years, 8 months ago

Unqualified and hired in at the highest rate of pay. Most practical people would want to review this decision.

bthom37 11 years, 8 months ago

Um, consumer1, admitting to being a troll, when your trolls sound like your normal speech on this board, is not a good thing. The point of trolling is to go against your normal statements to come up with outlandish sounding arguments supposedly in favor of whatever position you're actually against.

This concludes Internet 101 for today.

Terry Jacobsen 11 years, 8 months ago

If the new board is wise, they will move carefully and not appear to be wild and extreme themselves. Otherwise they may find themselves replaced in the next election. Kansans seem to dislike people who get to intoxicated with their own power.

Whatever is good for our students is what we should do.

prioress 11 years, 8 months ago

Agnostick "As somebody else pointed out on these forums recently, I'd be interested to see what kind of "golden parachute" the KBOE cronies have written into Corkins' contract." +++ My guess is, none. He's an at-will employee and I'm not sure the SBOE can negotiate the terms you suggest. Most, if not all, the terms of his contract are public documents. Call the State Department office and ask to purchase a copy.

LarryFarma 11 years, 8 months ago

I am really disgusted with the prejudicial labels in these news reports. Democrats are just "Democrats," but Republicans are either "conservatives" or "moderates." Furthermore, there is nothing moderate about being pro-censorship.

Also, the current standards had to be revised at great expense because the National Academy of Sciences and the National Science Teachers Association denied permission to use their copyrighted material because the standards criticized Darwinism. If the criticism of Darwinism is removed, will the standards go back to using the NAS and NSTA material?

I think that the legislature should just abolish the Board of Education, which can't make up its mind. Who needs it? Iowa has the right idea -- no state science education standards. Why not just follow the textbooks? If the schools are not going to use a biology textbook that is critical of Darwinism -- such as a Christian-school biology textbook with the references to religion taken out -- then what's the point?

Curious 11 years, 6 months ago

Remember, guys, before the science standards were changed there was NO reference in them to evolution --pro or con. The conservatives thought there SHOULD be reference to them. They miscalculated somehow and thought it should be taught in a "scientific" way as a theory, not as fact. KU got their shorts in a bunch over that. How dare you treat evolution as theory -- it IS a fact. Yet to be proved, but still a fact.

So before you castigate the "conservatives" for being anti-science, think about what "science" actually means. And if maybe religion might define evolution better.

Ironic, isn't it?

maxtin 11 years, 5 months ago

Erm... I like living here... but Kansas assumed education standards that are ONLY paralleled by Turkey in the industrialised world...Kansas... we're with TURKEY! (They're erm rather fascist and very IslamIST by the way) The level of the insanity made us an international laughingstock... niggling at each other... getting hot under the collar, arguing about who's inclusive or unreasonable,... is absurd. I will state, perfectly calmly... that the idea that the education establishment in the US is LIBERAL is FALSE. The fact that 60% of American's DON'T believe in evolution is indisputable evidence of this FACT. I despair at how close in idealogy the evangelists and 'Islamofascists' are... 6th letter off. You have no place in civil debate if your idealogy renders everyone who believes other than you a lesser being. The best you can manage is preaching. Listened... Your full of the third letter in the alphabet+ rap...

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