The Johnson County Sun is a fairly Republican paper, and its endorsements of incumbent Republicans as Insurance Commissioner, Treasurer and Secretary of State are pro forma. It’s endorsement of Don Weiss over John Bacon is far from automatic. The editors clearly thought hard, and came down behind Don Weiss, calling him “by far, the more qualified candidate”:
[incumbent John] Bacon is part of the notorious 6–4 Christian conservative majority that has enmeshed the board in distracting controversies such as evolution instruction, sex education and hiring Bob Corkins as education commissioner.
Corkins had no experience as a professional educator and, worse, as a paid lobbyist in the Kansas Legislature he opposed adequate funding for K‑12 public education.
Bacon and his lot have continually imposed their personal values on education policies. Their antics on evolution instruction have been an embarrassment for Kansas around the world.
That is not the worst part. They have undermined Kansas’ efforts to attract top scientists to its developing bioscience and biomedical initiatives. That adversely affects the economic health of Kansas and threatens job opportunities in the state.
Among other destructive changes, Bacon and his cohorts made it more difficult for students to receive a balanced course on sex education.
Not only would Weiss be a vast improvement over Bacon. He would be a notable addition to the board.
As a professional educator, Weiss knows, in depth, how education works, its needs and what the board should be doing to help students meet achievement standards required by the state and the federal No Child Left Behind program.
Weiss has held positions in the information services management field. He has been involved in overseeing computer systems and training professionals in technology programs. His knowledge would be invaluable as the board copes with ongoing advances in science and technology.
At the Dawkins event last night, Board member Sue Gamble told me how disappointed she has been to see all the interest in the Kansas Board of Education suddenly disappear. There are still two creationists on the ballot, and two other competitive races where serious people are actually trying to convince people that there is a better way.
You can help Don Weiss out in what I consider the best opportunity to pick up another seat on the Board.
Jack Wempe is working to replace Ken Willard in the seat representing south-central Kansas. In a recent candidate forum, he took the incumbent to task for the wasteful spending on travel by Connie Morris, a creationist ousted in the August primaries. He’s out reminding voters why they elected him to the state legislature, and why they trusted him as a school teacher for 20 years, and with your help, has a good shot at giving us a clean sweep of the creationists up for re-election.