Wednesday, April 28, 2004


I hope Governor Pawlenty puts more effort into the fight to keep Cheri Yecke as education commissioner after the Senate Education Kangaroo Court Committee voted on strict party lines to reject her nomination to the post. Pawlenty's press release is a good start.
Today's vote by the Senate Education Committee was a vote against innovation, accountability and reform in education. Dr. Yecke has been taking on the status quo -- and winning -- which is why Senate Democrats voted along party lines to reject her.

Throughout Minnesota history, confirmation of commissioners has been based on qualifications and fitness for service. We have never had a Commissioner of Education with better qualifications, experience and vision for reform. In just fifteen months as commissioner, she has led the overhaul of the maligned Profile of Learning and replaced it with new learning standards, established school evaluation tools so that parents can know how their schools stack up, and undertaken many other reforms.

Imagine what the Senate Education Committee could have done if they had invested the same time and energy in improving education that they've spent tearing down a reformer.

Today's vote had nothing to do with qualifications. It had everything to do with a Democratic Party that is void of ideas and afraid of the future."
The last point the governor makes is quite interesting: Kelley's cabal took more time roasting Yecke than discussing the stealth social science standards. Think about it. Apparently Senator Kelley has more time to read Yecke's book than to read standards.
Sen. Steve Kelley, DFL-Hopkins, cited several instances of strident language from Yecke in her book on middle schools. He said her attacks on the use of cooperative learning cast a bad light on the work being done in many schools.
This lead Yecke to quip that perhaps Kelley could do for her book what Bill O'Reilly did for Al Franken's.

The Minnesota DFL has now fully engaged into the Daschle/Leahy method of Borking. It's noteworthy that Borking has come before the national Democrats went into decline and minority status. Will the same happen to the Minnesota DFL?

UPDATE: Mitch and I are channeling the same thought: "Steve Kelley is the Tom Dashcle of Minnesota."