Wednesday, March 01, 2006

One of the "Radical Six" anti-evolution board members faces tough primary

The Hutchinson News editorialized today about the happy news that its hometown member of the Kansas State Board of Education, Ken Willard, is facing a credible primary challenger in Donna Viola. She is president of the McPherson USD 418 Board of Education. Willard is most well known for bashing evolution and science.

The Hutch News isn’t known as the most liberal paper in the state, but it noted:
Willard, R-Hutchinson, has played an integral role in advancing the state board ís increasingly radical agenda for education in Kansas since being elected in 2002.

He lobbied the Legislature to undermine local authority and establish statewide standards for a suitable education. He supported efforts to relax rules for charter schools in Kansas. He expressed interest in school vouchers. He voted for science standards adopted after contrived hearings before a three-member subcommittee of the board. He voted to overrule local boards with a statewide policy allowing parents to determine whether their children would enroll in sex education classes. He voted to hire someone without any experience in education or public administration as Kansas education commissioner.

Moreover, in meetings with local boards and in conversations with constituents, Willard defends those controversial actions with evasive answers and disingenuous claims.
That description of Willard nicely sums up all the ultra-conservative Republican members of the state board who have done enormous damange to education in Kansas. The Hutch News dubbed those members of the board the "Radical Six."

This editorial is yet more evidence that Kansas is seriously sick of the theocratic Republicans who are running much of the state.

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