Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Education Secretary Qualifications in Constitution.That Makes No Sense

This morning’s report is about some wondering whether the qualifications of Public Education Department Secretary Hanna Skandera fits the requirements of the state constitution. The section from the constitution about the secretary is below.
“Article XII Education
“Section 6 A. There is hereby created a ‘public education department’ and a ‘public education commission’ that shall have such powers and duties as provided by law. The department shall be a cabinet department headed by a secretary of public education who is a qualified, experienced educator who shall be appointed by the governor and confirmed by the senate.”
The question raised is whether being a “qualified, experienced educator” requires having spent time teaching in a classroom in the kindergarten through 12th grade level and whether said classroom must have been in a public school system.
For me, being inside a classroom stands as a unique experience and, other things equal, the experience would be useful to an education secretary. However, things are never otherwise equal and to have missed the experience of being in the room with the kids and with the door closed hardly disqualifies one from the being an educator. Overall Skandera’s qualifications are outstanding
But why are the stated qualifications in the constitution? That’s the bigger question. After finding the description above, I looked briefly, to no avail, for job specifications for other department secretaries. With two exceptions, the word “secretary” is used in the phrase “secretary of the state.” The exceptions are in Article XII, Section 6 A quoted above and in the context of ratification of the constitution.
The qualification statement, such as it is, has no business in the constitution. This situation strikes me as yet another reason for revising our constitution. That means this situation offers yet another reason to support Rep. Joseph Cervantes House Bill 207 calling for an independent constitutional revisions commission.

No comments: