Of course it wasn't the Republicans. We all know better than that. Actually, it was NPR and their liberal buddies:
"Ohio Gov. John Kasich has appointed a television sports commentator and former Canadian league football player to the state Board of Education.
"Stanley Jackson, a Republican from Marion, attended Ohio State University and played football there, but does not appear to have graduated, Ohio State spokesperson Amy Murray said."
Kasich appointed Jackson, 37, to replace Dennis Reardon on the 19-member board and serve the final six months of an at-large term. Six months! For this he has incurred the wrath of the Left.
The Raw Story carried this headline:
Ohio governor appoints dropout quarterback to state Board of Education
...and then went on to parrot the talking points of Greg at the left-wing Plunderbund blog. I'm guessing Greg has his spandex bike shorts all in a twist because,
"Jackson is not shy about expressing conservative Christian values. "
The blogger managed to dig up a bio on Jackson from...well...he doesn't say and he doesn't provide a link, but it's from a fundraising dinner Jackson attended in April. The bio says that Jackson is the founder of a charter school (if you're keeping score at home, that's two liberal strikes against him). Though the Ohio Department of Education has no charter school fitting the description in Jackson's bio, Jackson gave an interview to WTVN on Friday and explained:
“I have been working on a charter school for over two years now. It’s a process that’s taken a while, it’s not something that you rush through.We are in place to be open in the fall of 2013, so for all the folks that are talking about that, that’s obviously not true as well.”
Strike 3 in Plunderbund's little game is that Jackson has not provided a resume to them. Or offered one to the Grand Liberal Resume God. Note the snarky, elitist comment at the end of the article:
"While we’re sure that “shares the governor’s vision on education” is the only qualification Jackson needed to meet Kasich’s approval, we’re super excited for the big reveal of the OSU star’s resume detailing his educational experience (maybe from his seven years in Canada?) and revealing the Paterson, NJ, athlete’s connection to Governor Kasich. ..Let’s just hope they didn’t entrust the resume to Josh Mandel’s office…" [emphasis added]
This seems to be an obsession with Plunderbund. If you can't win the war of ideas, bury 'em in paperwork. They've been demanding resumes from 35 staffers in State Treasurer Josh Mandel's office. As if no one on their side as ever hired anyone without a resume in hand. Mandel is running against liberal darling Sherrod Brown for the U.S. Senate. Plunderbund has been running a non-stop smear campaign against Mandel. Basically, Ohio's version of Media Matters.
But I digress. The real, actual third strike is that Jackson will be replacing SBE member Dennis Reardon, former executive director of the Ohio Education Association, the state's largest teacher's union. We all know that Ohio Democrats don't believe the maxim that "elections have consequences" and so they will fight tooth and nail to make sure the Republican agenda is defeated, even while we have a Republican governor and majorities in the legislature.
The Dispatch reported:
“On any board you want some diversification,” Kasich said, speaking of Jackson’s background and not his race as an African-American. “You want some people who will take a different look at things. The other thing about Stanley, he’d be very impressive going into a lot of schools in this state.”
Republican state education board members Debe Terhar, Angela Thi Bennett (who was previously appointed to her seat by Kasich), and Republican Franklin County Auditor Clarence Mingo all called TheDispatch yesterday afternoon to express their support for Jackson.
Ohio State football great Archie Griffin, who is president of the school’s alumni association, provided a statement hailing Jackson as a “leader on and off the field” with “strong values” and someone who “champions a team approach.”
“Stanley has a wealth of varied experiences that bring a unique perspective that is healthy to any organization,” Griffin said."
Lifetime politician, Democrat Tom Sawyer, stroked his chin in concern, looked down his nose, and added:
“This is certainly something I suspect people will want to take a closer look at. He may be a very qualified person. His background doesn’t sound like historical qualifications for the position, but there are no specific qualifications except a willingness to work hard.”
??? Doublespeak much ???
Sen. Edna Brown of Toledo sniffed that she would “expect a person appointed to serve on that board would have a little more of a background in education.”
Suddenly, on Wednesday, Plunderbund had a change of heart. It wasn't the black guy's fault, after all. It was all Kasich's fault. Wednesday's headline:
Lay off the QB – Jackson didn’t appoint himself to the State Board
Really, I am not making this up.
"[M]any news outlets have used our information as the source for their own stories (uncredited, as usual). But in a strange round of I-can-dig-up-more-dirt-than-you, Jackson has become the target of unfair attacks on his own character by mainstreammedia outlets."
(In an interesting twist, Third Base Politics blog had rightly called out the Dispatch for repeating Plunderbud's talking points practically verbatim.)(Like I said, Media Matters of Ohio.)
In other words....STOP BLAMING THE BLACK GUY!! We're liberals, for crying out loud! We can't start sounding like The Man.
BLOOD IS SHOOTING OUT OF MY EYEBALLS!!!!!
But of course, Plunderbund was the one who started the trashing in the first place with the snarky little blog post. And in the follow-up post, even implied that his association with a charter school was part of the vast right-wing conspiracy. Something like that.
Here's the bottom line for me. The work of the State Board of Education is difficult and complicated. Much of it is tedious. I've attended SBE meetings and have met with board members and I know how hard board members work. More power to anyone who would willingly take on that job.
But it's not rocket science. It's a completely different animal than rocket science, in fact. As a homeschooling mother (with only a two year degree) I learned how to read and understand the Ohio Revised Code and the Ohio Administrative Code. I figured out how the legislative process works in Ohio so I could advocate for my children at the state and local level. While a degree in political science or accounting or education may have been helpful, it's not necessary to understand the process of governing our schools. A college degree does not guarantee that one is educated any more than a lack of a degree means that one is uneducated.
I believe that a parent with skin in the game can be a better, more effective school board member than a half dozen others with advanced degrees who are there for the wrong reason. According to Ohio law, all that's required is for this appointee to be a qualified elector who resides in a rural district. In my book, if Jackson is reasonably intelligent, cares about Ohio's children and has the courage to stand up to the demands of the unions and the hissy fits of liberals, he will do a fine job as a member of the State Board of Education.
And one thing we can say with 100% certainty: If Stanley Jackson supported the liberal agenda and a conservative dared raise the issue of his lack of a degree, Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson would be on the first plane to the Akron Canton Airport.
I'll let you know if there are any sightings in the area. Or if Sasquatch shows up.
UPDATE: Someone posting under the moniker "DEAN STER (DEANSTER)" left a comment after the Dispatch article in support of Stanley Jackson. It began with, "I am one of Gov. Kasich's biggest critics, and cringed with repulsion for Ohio when he was elected..." After explaining his experience as a local school board member and expressing his belief that parents sometimes do make the best school board members, he talks about Stanley Jackson:
"The second point is that I know Stanley Jackson and family. What I know about Stanley is that he is a family man who truly wants to make a difference in the lives of kids, particularly kids of color and kids who have historically been at a disadvantage due to decades of systemic inequalities. I can imagine that when an opportunity such as this presents itself, a chance to be a voice for those whom you most care about, to have input and influence into one of the most important systems in the state, that a person with the heart and passion such as Stanley would see this as an genuine opportunity to make that difference. I am very sad for Stanley and his beautiful family that this opportunity has inadvertently turned him into a political target. Stanley is a man of integrity and a man of faith, he does not deserve the scathing contempt with which he has been shown by the media and the public. He is intelligent, compassionate and practical. He would bring a breath of fresh air and an "in the trenches" perspective to a decision-making body that all too often is out of touch with real people and real kids. The state school board is not in place to serve educators, ultimately they are there to serve the students, families and communities, as are all school boards. It is unfortunate that Gov. Kasich has conducted himself in such a way that his own credibility and integrity are legitimately in question. But it is truly sickening that Stanley is now being maligned as a result of this appointment under Kasich's administration. Although Stanley has done nothing wrong, illegal or unethical, this man who has great potential to make an important difference in the lives of Ohio kids is being portrayed in a way that is hurtful and destructive. This not only negatively affects him and his family, but also those kids who may not have an opportunity to benefit from his leadership, philanthropy and humanity as a result of this controversy. I do not agree with Kasich from a political standpoint. But the state school board members are the gatekeepers of our children's education. The most effective education (as confirmed by research) is a system which actively involves parents and community in a meaningful way and as an integral aspect of that education. If the state board does not reflect the communities it serves, and if Ohio's families and children are not represented or given a voice, then a complex system becomes more out of touch and realistically, obsolete altogether."
(If you happen to read this, "Dean Ster," I'm not Kasich's biggest fan, either.)
(And our spotters are still at the Akron-Canton Airport waiting for Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton's plane to land. And the Loch Ness Monster.)
Cross-Posted at Bold Colors