Rick Perry announced today his appointment as chairwoman for the State Board of Education: Gail Lowe of Lampasas. She’s replacing the outgoing chairman, whom the senate refused to re-confirm. According to Perry:
I am confident that through her leadership, we will continue to ensure that Texans receive the educational foundation necessary to be sucessful in college, the workplace and beyond.
The comments on this story at the Dallas Morning News’ blog are blowing up, though. For example, Rose says:
Doesn’t high qualifications count for anything anymore? Why didn’t the governor appoint an educator? Doesn’t it make more sense that the entire board should be made up of educators? That’s like appointing mechanics to do a doctor’s job. Hello Perry!!
Yikes. This seems to be the main complaint for Gail. Obviously leadership is important, but you have to wonder about the “perspective” of someone who’s not an educator herself. I’m not saying it’s a requirement, I’m just saying it’s probably easier to run into more problems if you don’t understand where teachers are coming from.
She’ll be the chairwoman through February 2011. At that point, she could be asked to stay on and be re-confirmed, or a new appointee may be selected (perhaps by a new governor, depending on how 2010 shapes up).