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Ed Commish Allegedly Interfering In JCPS Search

March 31st, 2011 by jake · 20 Comments

I hear through the grapevine that Education Commissioner Terry Holliday is allegedly attempting to force the Jefferson County Board of Education to hire his personal friend, Jerry Weast, the retiring superintendent of Montgomery County Schools in Maryland.

The reason? To serve as a “consultant” in the hunt for a new JCPS superintendent at a cost of $5,000 per day and to “review curriculum.” Holliday wanted JCPS to pay for half of his salary – at up to 40 days – and said the Kentucky Department of Education would pick up the other half of the tab. Despite, of course, Holliday not having the power to do anything of the sort on the money front with KDE.

One school board member (who offered to go on the record with me – I’d rather make the mainstreamers work for this story) says Holliday has been pressuring them for weeks and that two members have driven to Frankfort on more than one occasion to hear Holliday out.

Can you imagine? What the heck is in the educational water, anyway?

And if KDE just has a spare $50,000-$100,000 in a sock somewhere to pay Holliday’s friends, then why isn’t it being put to better use?

Tags: Bad Behavior · Education · JCPS · Rumors · State Government

20 responses so far ↓

  • 1 blowin' in the wind // Mar 31, 2011 at 10:24 am

    I am so glad somebody finally outed this little bit of nonsense. I have no love for the current board, but spending $100,000 that could be used for kids is beyond awful. By the way, the Board is doing a terrible job on the search; the firm they hired doesn’t know an ethical no-no from a great attempt to double-dip with Fayette County. The survey is useless, they are not meeting with key constituents, and the person from the firm is the retired superintendent from Des Moines (Iowa strikes again). How more incompetent can they get!

  • 2 jake // Mar 31, 2011 at 10:30 am

    The board may be doing a horrible job, but several members are standing up to Holliday and have come forward.

    One of them asked to go on-the-record about it all.

    Reminds me of the time Holliday allegedly threatened to withhold funding if Berman didn’t back some piece of legislation he thought was hot.

  • 3 blowin' in the wind // Mar 31, 2011 at 10:36 am

    The awful thing, Jake, is that we are between a rock and a hard place here. We just have to keep at it until we get what the kids need–a superintendent with ethics and a deep commitment to the kids. Unfortunately the education system is broken at the state and national levels as well as the local one.
    Kudos to whomever outed the Commissioner.

  • 4 jake // Mar 31, 2011 at 10:39 am

    Several school board members who hate each other came together to stand up.

    AKN was tipped off. Then another political reporter. Both showed zero interest in the story.

  • 5 Davi // Mar 31, 2011 at 10:44 am

    Bravo to those with the courage to speak up about the Commissioner and any other less-than-kosher goings on with issues of such importance as the future of our children.

    (What kind of dirt balls do we have running education in this country? We should have a grass-roots public appeal for outing them all)

  • 6 blowin' in the wind // Mar 31, 2011 at 10:49 am

    YEAH DAVI!

  • 7 Steve Magruder // Mar 31, 2011 at 10:55 am

    blowin’, how is the education system “broken”?

    The levels of educational attainment are about at the same levels as a generation ago. What’s “broken” is that other industrialized countries have caught up to and surpassed the level of quality in our system.

    I’ll agree with “stagnation”, but “broken”? No.

  • 8 Novena // Mar 31, 2011 at 10:58 am

    “Search for Tomorrow”

    Reporter: “How can you ask a school system to spend $5,000 per day for a consultant when many systems are laying off scores of teachers?”

    Commissioner: “Experts know best. Search firms are a bargain, but need extra help. My guy is an excellent auxiliary helper; and he needs work in retirement.”

    Reporter: “Where in hell is public education going, sir?”

    Commissioner: “Beats me.”

  • 9 Crimson // Mar 31, 2011 at 11:21 am

    Highly illegal of Holliday

  • 10 jake // Mar 31, 2011 at 11:27 am

    Not sure it’s illegal.

    Shady, yes.

    Incestuous, yes.

    It’s like the Felner-Deasy-Berman-Holliday clan ALL came together in Maryland and the Carolinas.

  • 11 CrescentHillion // Mar 31, 2011 at 11:50 am

    If we are being outperformed by other countries, how isn’t the system broken? Inherent in being outperformed, is that we aren’t doing very well.

    The causes are clear. Almost all research points to bad management and ineffective teachers.

  • 12 jake // Mar 31, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    CH: Right.

    The BAD need to go so the GOOD can prosper and change our world.

  • 13 Crimson // Mar 31, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    If not illegal, it’s unethical & folks in Louisville should be outraged.

  • 14 The Highlander // Mar 31, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    Can you imagine what an ‘activist’ Commonwealth’s Attorney could do with all this crap? Answer: He could indict everyone (including Mershon), because as the saying goes, “You can indict a ham sandwich.” Then, once you start winning cases and putting these a’holes in jail, you start the teaching process as to the importance of ‘accountability’ in the public arena.
    Picture Happy Pants’ rear end IF all this would start — heck, you couldn’t drive a nail up it with a sledgehammer!!!!!!!!!!
    Anyone want to start it!!!

  • 15 Angela Champion // Mar 31, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    I would definitely say that we have reached a critical point where our education system does not work. Broken? Maybe, but there are no silver bullets.
    This country is not educating enough of its youth to have a successful life – get a job, earn enough to support themselves and their families, have a healthy future.
    We are not giving kids the tools they need in THIS WORLD. . . the world where you can’t get a job and provide for yourself without a minimum of a HS diploma.
    http://liveunited.org/blog/entry/voices-for-the-common-good-america-speaks-out-on-education/

  • 16 Teachthekids // Mar 31, 2011 at 5:48 pm

    If this makes you mad, maybe the fact that Jefferson County tops the list in the number of persistently low achieving schools in the state should really set you on fire! But no, we, in our self-righteousness, worry more about the money than educating the kids. Jefferson County has the money, but that hasn’t helped a bit in that county. And have you investigated how JCPS hires their teachers? Shameful. If you’re going to point fingers, make sure you do your research.

  • 17 jake // Mar 31, 2011 at 6:04 pm

    Maybe you should know what the flip you’re saying before you comment? Or at least do your own research on this very website to know what we have and have not covered in-depth?

    Jesus Christ, people. Don’t comment if you’re going to sound like a damn fool.

  • 18 Teachthekids // Mar 31, 2011 at 7:56 pm

    Ah, did I hit a nerve? I didn’t expect such a juvenile response from such a “smart” guy.

  • 19 jake // Mar 31, 2011 at 8:16 pm

    A nerve? Hardly.

    I know what I’m talking about and that’s why Steve Imhoff is shitting is pants at this very moment.

    By the way, Steve: Say nasty things about me again and see how much more of the story I reveal. Maybe I’ll talk about how you’re telling people you’re going to “take that money whether KDE likes it or not.” Hope you enjoyed being interviewed by the C-J. Cause there’s more to come.

  • 20 jake // Mar 31, 2011 at 8:20 pm

    By the way – are you the Sara Wanstreet, the vet tech, who is tied to both Meloche and Zelinsky?

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