Monday, August 27, 2012

Melanie Kurdys for State Board of Education

Delegates to the Michigan Republican State Convention in Grand Rapids this September will nominate two candidates for the state Board of Education. One of those candidates should be Melanie Kurdys.

Kurdys and Hollenbeck for Portage School Board

Kurdys got involved in education issues as a concerned parent in the Portage Public Schools in Kalamazoo County. She ran for school board in 2007 and won. She started asking questions about the conduct of Superintendent Marcia Wells. Kurdys was initially alone in criticizing Wells, and the other members of the board were critical of her persistence. But as the composition of the board changed, Kurdys won over those who had initially been hostile or skeptical.

So why did Wells deserve to be fired? It has become clear that she is an autocrat who opposed any transparency or accountability for her actions. In particular, the board directed her to provide information on administrator contracts, and she outright refused to comply with that policy. She should have been fired right there. No further argument about Wells' conduct is necessary.

There was more, though. Wells made false allegations against the then-president of the board, Dale Posthumus, that led him to resign in disgust. She chose to hold a performance review in public, hoping to intimidate the board into not airing criticism in public. (This backfired.) The board finally forced Wells to resign in 2011.

In the 2011 election Kurdys and another critic of Wells lost to supporters of Wells. Though this result was disappointing, it shows that Kurdys is willing to stand for principle even when it costs her politically.

In her race for the state Board of Education, Kurdys has emphasized opposition to the Common Core standards that would nationalize school curricula.

Kurdys is a strong conservative Republican active in the Tea Party movement. She is not afraid to endorse conservative challengers over moderate incumbents. She deserves the support of Republican delegates.

Kurdys' blog:
Kurdys' website:

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