Martin Libhart

Wichita School District: Accountability is on Our Terms

USD 259, the Wichita public school district, wants to be held accountable. They say so. It's a theme of the proposed bond issue, as recently stated by celebrity spokesman George Fahnestock: "...the district’s accountability is strong..." (See CARE launches Yes For Kids campaign) But what happens when citizens seek information from USD 259 that will let them verify claims made by the district? One of the things I and others have been looking at is the number of classrooms in the district's schools. We made a records request asking for this number, and we were told this information would cost…
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Wichita public schools: Open records requests are a burden

Listen to an audio broadcast of this article here. I recently learned that USD 259 (the Wichita, Kansas public school district) considers it a burden when citizens make requests for records. At least that's what Lynn Rogers, vice-president of the board of USD 259, told me at a May 12, 2008 meeting when I was invited to express concerns regarding my opposition to the proposed 2008 bond issue. I suspect the other board members and administration officials agree with him. As a government institution, the Wichita public school district is subject to the Kansas Open Records Act, which requires it…
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Wichita School Bond Issue: The Election That Wasn’t, and Maybe Shouldn’t Be

Wichitans for Effective Education wish to remind the residents of USD 259 (the Wichita, Kansas public school district) that on February 11, 2008, the board of USD 259 passed a resolution declaring that a special election was to be held today, May 6. That resolution asked the citizens of this community to approve a $350 million school bond proposal. On April 7, on the advice of an allied citizens group, the board decided the election should be delayed until some yet-to-be-known date. The board originally argued that it was imperative to vote as soon as possible instead of waiting for…
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Martin Libhart is qualified in what way?

When Bob Corkins, a lawyer with no classroom experience, was named Kansas Commissioner of Education in 2005, newspaper editorialists and education bureaucrats throughout Kansas condemned the action. How could a person with no classroom experience and no traditional education credentials possibly manage the state's schools? "Bob's in way over his head," said Winston Brooks, superintendent of USD 259, the Wichita public school district. But what about Martin Libhart, the man who succeeds Winston Brooks, if only as the interim superintendent? According to a news release on the USD 259 website: "Because Libhart does not currently possess a district level leadership…
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