Archive for Saturday, October 14, 2006

Ed board chairman: Sebelius an ‘elitist’

Abrams says governor owes apology over Phelps comparison

October 14, 2006


— Calling her an "elitist" and a "big-government liberal," the state school board's chairman on Friday criticized Gov. Kathleen Sebelius over her proposal to strip the board of its power to set education policy.

Steve Abrams, an Arkansas City Republican who is part of the Kansas State Board of Education's conservative majority, took the Democratic governor to task for suggesting that its adoption last year of science standards seen as anti-evolution had damaged Kansas' economic development efforts.

Abrams also attacked Sebelius for saying that the state has to deal with negative publicity created by the board, just as it does with the anti-gay picketing of the Rev. Fred Phelps Sr. and his followers.

"The governor owes the Kansas State Board of Education as well as the citizens of the state of Kansas an apology," Abrams said in a statement sent by e-mail to news organizations across the state. "Personal insults from this liberal governor are the only arguments she can make due to the lack of her own accomplishments."

"I expect a big-government liberal like our governor to oppose conservative politics. But to infer that the State Board of Education is responsible for the lack of economic development in Kansas is laughable," he added.

Sebelius is seeking a second term this year and has proposed to push for a state constitutional amendment to make the 10-member board elected but advisory. She wants to have the governor appoint a secretary to run the Department of Education, rather than have the board appoint a commissioner.

The current setup is the product of a constitutional amendment approved by voters in 1966. Voters have rejected proposals to strip the board of its power or allow it to be eliminated in 1974, 1986 and 1990.

GOP gubernatorial challenger Sen. Jim Barnett, of Emporia, has said he opposes Sebelius' proposal, arguing that the current setup makes the board accountable to voters.

Sebelius spokeswoman Nicole Corcoran said having a discussion about the issue "is exactly how good government is supposed to work."

"Unfortunately, the chairman of the State Board of Education doesn't seem to realize the connection between good schools and a strong economy, which kind of proves the governor's point," Corcoran said.

Echoing criticism from Barnett, Abrams described Sebelius' proposal as "an unadulterated power grab from the voters by an elitist."

"But that is typical for an elitist, thinking they know better than the voters," Abrams said. "The governor has yet to talk about her vision for Kansas; she apparently prefers innuendo, name calling, deflection of responsibility and an attempt for a power grab."


Wilbur_Nether 11 years, 7 months ago

Inigo Montoya to Abrams, who just (inconceivably) pronounced someone "elitist."

"You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."

james dick 11 years, 7 months ago

Abrams is an idiot. We are the laughing stock of the scientific world. We are seen as the anti-intellectuals of the nation. The ed board is the ayatollah board and our ed commissioner is the lead ayatollah.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 11 years, 7 months ago

Sounds like he's looking for a guest slot on the O'Reilly show, so he can use other Faux News code words to attack anyone who thinks that education and reason are necessary in designing and implementing public policy.

coldandhot 11 years, 7 months ago

Finally, someone takes Sebelius to task!

Paul Decelles 11 years, 7 months ago

Hmmmm let me see, Steve Abrams' world view means that the vast unsaved masses of humanity are going to Hell whereas Steve and his cronies are among the saved. And he has the gall to call someone else elitist?

oldgoof 11 years, 7 months ago

Abrams wants somebody else to apologize. How rich!

drewdun 11 years, 7 months ago

"Liberal. Big-government liberal. Liberal elitist. [Now foaming at mouth] Aren't you listening? She's a BIG-GOVERNMENT LIBERAL! LISTEN TO ME! WAHHHHH!"

As if we needed further proof of the utter bankruptcy of the Republican Party. Can you say desperation?

Tychoman 11 years, 7 months ago

Bitter much, Abrams? Boo f-ing hoo that Sebelius called you out on your B.S.

Katara 11 years, 7 months ago

From the article "Abrams also attacked Sebelius for saying that the state has to deal with negative publicity created by the board, just as it does with the anti-gay picketing of the Rev. Fred Phelps Sr. and his followers.

A website I frequent is working on a Kansas tag for any articles that pertain to our state or anyone associated with it. The only state that has one so far is Florida which is a state frequently ridiculed on said website.

If you travel anywhere outside of Kansas and happen to mention that you are from Kansas, you get 3 responses.

A reference to Wizard of OZ. A reference to Fred Phelps. And a reference to Intelligent Design or the lack of evolution in Kansas.

LarryFarma 11 years, 7 months ago

Sebelius is a stupid fathead. That's like me blaming the demise of Southern California's aerospace industry on the University of California's disaccreditation of Christian-school biology courses that use "creationist" biology texts.

The last I heard, the aviation industry in Wichita, the "Detroit of the general aviation industry," was still doing fairly well.

prioress 11 years, 7 months ago

Sebelius is a stupid fathead.

Not nice; I presume you do not follow the TEACHER. On the other hand, I do believe Ms. Kathleen was less than intelligent to make this type of charge. She generally displays more class in public.

StephenS 9 years, 5 months ago

Most states do not have an elected State Board of Education. That's because when they do, public education is held hostage to political agendas, in-fighting, deal-making, nonsense-peddling, and political-religious proselytization using the public schools as a missionary field. Extreme religious right politicians can get elected and think they now have the right to force the secular public schools system that they now oversee to adopt their personal religious beliefs. And why not? If the citizens of Kansas didn't want them to do that, why did they elect them?Once science standards, science textbooks, and the science curriculum are controlled by individuals who know nothing about science but everything about proselytization of their extreme religious beliefs, you can expect the worst. And that's what you get when you elect these people in down-ballot, low-profile positions. That's what Abrams wants to keep, and Gov. Sibelius wants to change. Most states have state school boards appointed by the governor or governor-appointed state education commissioners, because under this system there is pressure to ensure that the schools work well to educate students properly, not mislead them and teach them misconceptions about biology.

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