While one can count on hearing the endless slogans about Diversity among the educrats, you won't find it in the line-up of establishment figures included in the program. Here are the "approved panelists" for the 10:00 session:
- o P. G. Peeples, Lexington Fayette County Urban League
- o Stu Silberman, Prichard Committee for academic Excellence
- o Elaine Farris, Clark Co Superintendent
- o Ruthanne Palumbo, Fayette County legislator
- o Kevin Noland, KDE/UofL
- o Richard Angelo, UK Education Policy
- o Terry Holliday, Kentucky Education Commissioner
- o Sharron Oxendine, KEA President
- o Erik Myrup, History, UK/FayetteABC
And don't even bother to look for organizations that have been critical of mainstream education policies in Kentucky. The only panelist on any of the three panels that appears to be from an organization critical of the establishment is Erik Myrup, a professor of history at the University of Kentucky who wrote an opinion piece in the Herald-Leader last July critical of the inordinate emphasis on testing in schools. Other than that, it appears to be pretty slim pickins in the Diversity department.
I know, I know. Who would actually take them seriously when it came to all the Diversity rhetoric. What was I thinking?
And since when do you class professional spinmeisters for large institutions as "media"? Here's the list for the "Media Forum":
- o Linda Blackford, H-L
- o Mark Neikirk, NKU
- o Mark Hebert, WHAS/UofL
- o Ronnie Ellis, CNHI News
- o Richard Wilson, C-J/Independent Colleges
Where is Mandy Connell, WHAS radio's morning talk show host? She's actually, like, really a media person. Where is Lucy May, the former Lexington Herald-Leader reporter who covered the controversy over the Kentucky Education Reform Act of 1990 (KERA) in the late 90's--and who (much to the chagrin of the educational establishment) reported both sides of the issues?
And where in all this mix is Penny Sanders, the former director of the Office for Education Accountability, the legislature's education enforcement arm (which had its wings unceremoniously clipped when it was reckless enough to take an honest look at the state's KIRIS tests in the late 90's)?
This is one of the many things that doom any efforts to reform public education: the unwillingness to include anyone in the discussion who might question the fundamental assumptions of the educational establishment.
Here we go again.