Ed Super Wants Rules For Candidates Stricter Than President or Governor

Sherri Ybarra, Idaho’s Superintendent of Education, has announced plans to make it more difficult to run for her elected office than it is to run for Governor, President, Congress, or be appointed to the Supreme Court of the U.S.

She is offering up legislation that would change the rules of candidacy.
Ybarra Sherri STF-1_crop
The qualifications bill would require the state superintendent to hold a valid Idaho administrator’s certificate and graduate from an accredited college or university, as determined by the State Board of Education.

Furthermore, the proposal would require the state superintendent be “actively engaged in educational work in the state public schools or in the state educational institutions.”

The only current qualifications to run for state ed super are as follows:

I.C. 34-613.
“No person shall be elected to the office of superintendent of public instruction unless he shall have attained the age of twenty-five (25) years at the time of his election, is a citizen of the United States, has a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university, and shall have resided within the state two (2) years next preceding his election.”

Even the current qualifications in the code seem overly restrictive for elective office. We see no problem for intense qualifications for HIRING a job applicant, but to allow a board to determine if their future boss is qualified-by approving WHICH institution qualifies– is not wise. If city councilors, legislators, and congressmen had to pass education and intelligence requirements, the government would have an entirely different look.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. Requiring an adminstrative degree will only limit the potential field of good candidates in the future. A silly qualification as it has nothing to do with the politics that are played at that level.

  2. chicago sam
    Aug 6, 2015, 5:28 pm

    Good looks and charm may get you the voters approval but administrative ability is much more important in this job than education requirements.
    Strike One.

  3. Grumpy ole Guy
    Aug 6, 2015, 9:32 pm

    Phah! If we need to “tinker” with qualifications, let us start with those for appointive positions.

  4. Why? What does this mean? Does this mean the US schools are the most monumental waste of money in the history of the world? And now, finally, someone noticed?

    Having gone to school way past the 35th grade, I’ve concluded American schools are mostly a baby sitting service and a jobs program.

    Countries with daily air-raids, rice diets (dropped from a missionary airplane, barefoot students, and one textbook are turning out better students. Proof can be found when those students receive their Doctorates in Math, Science, Engineering from an Ivy University. (Their mother proudly displays a my-child bumper-sticker on the family cow.)

  5. Eagle Writer
    Aug 7, 2015, 10:48 am

    Government design is of course strange. In many places the coroner needs no medical training…

    Yet most of us understand why and how we have lay boards – school boards, hospital boards, recreation district boards and the like. It is a process for the “people” to influence and provide oversight in what we want in services, expenditures, etc.

    But specialty elected positions can be very different. The state attorney general should be an attorney, the auditor should be an accountant, and the superintendent of schools should be a superintendent as evidenced by possession of an earned superintendent’s certificate/endorsement by the State.

    The governor, president, etc., as referenced in the original post govern at large, not over a specialty certificated or licensed field, and thus their qualifications do not require themselves possessing such a license or certificate.

    Ms. Ybarra is almost right, but an administrator’s (school principal) certificate is not the same as a superintendent’s certificate.

    EDITOR NOTE–Our point is that most of the entire population would be restricted from running for office. Even universities recognize the value and abilities of adjunct teaching staff. Our favorite example of the wisdom of citizens is those folks who determine the facts, guilt or innocence, and even life or death of a defendant–JURORS.

  6. The only real qualification to run for any office in Idaho is to spend way more money to get elected than the office will ever pay. That money comes from those who want political favors. Be nice to have some sort of qualification required, but I’d much rather get the money out of politics first.

    Schooling in America turned into kiddie prison camps because cheap energy made human labor much less necessary. Schools keep people out of the workforce. The secondary role is to educate them enough to be able to function in a complex society where you need to effectively keep many plates spinning or face dropping into homelessness.

  7. Eagle Writer
    Aug 7, 2015, 5:22 pm

    Editor: I fully understand, and point taken. But if we had the office of state chief pilot, most of us could not run. Or state chief electrical engineer, or realtor, or nurse.

    We either respect professional credentialing or we do not. Simply put, the state superintendent of public instruction should be a credentialed superintendent.

    Now, if we want to change our credentialing that’s fine, and to J Smith’s points, that might solve some of our schooling ills. But that is a very different argument.

    And to your point, university faculty, including adjuncts require no credentialing. It is a very different world than K-12.

    EDITOR NOTE–We are sort of splitting hairs. I AGREE with you in terms of credentials for pilots, etc. that are HIRED. However, if we had an ELECTED director of aeronautics, I see no need for a pilot license–same would be true for a FAA director.
    Former Senator Frank Church once told me “most folks can determine what a foreign policy should be. However, it takes an expert (diplomat) to implement policy. We feel the same for education–hire credentialed teachers and principals to teach, but leave the policy, politics and financing decisions up to the ELECTED citizen-run school boards who hire professionals to implement their policies.

  8. Eagle Writer
    Aug 7, 2015, 8:07 pm

    Dave, I will leave it alone as you are now changing terms. My analogy was if a chief pilot was elected, they should be a pilot.

    I agree that an MBA will suffice for a hospital administrator but not for a chief of surgery.

    But we have a state board of education of which the members do not need to be credentialed. This should not be confused with the State Department of Education which is comprised of professionals and directed by a state superintendent.

    If they are a superintendent they should have the credential, otherwise we should change the title, and then have two lay state boards of education – evidently your solution.

    I’m off, but at least we stayed on topic…

  9. On one hand we are a democracy, we should be able to elect anyone the majority wants regardless of qualifications. On the other hand maybe the public is better served by laws requiring candidates have some level of experience.

    1975 Age Discrimination Act prohibits discrimination based on age for employment, yet many elected positions such as this, which is a form of employment, openly discriminate by age with required years of age.

    My biggest concern is the requirement the candidate be working in the public school system or state educational system. I think there are many qualified candidates who work for private schools and might be prohibited from running. Also I think the public schools are broken, an outsider might bring new ideas.

    A quick google search of best schools in Idaho, 4 of the top 5 were charter schools, not traditional public schools. ( I know there are some crazy bible-thumping charter schools, but there are some other charter schools with emphasis on art, science, IB programs, etc which have academic performance and college placement much higher than public schools.

  10. It is always suspicious when an incumbent seeks to make the field of future competitors smaller, this seems self-serving.

    If higher qualifications for this position are needed, then it should be a citizens initiative or a collaboration of school systems/teachers.

  11. This bill ought to be called the Anti-Luna law…. wonder why she is now bringing up the issue- now that she has had a few months to assess the department.

  12. JJ – Jimmy Carter just explained why the U.S. Is no longer a Democracy…
    We are an oligarchy, controlled by a few ultra rich folks, and a corporate media, and corporations that can pump unlimited funds into campaigns, since the passing of the evil Citizens United law, which says corporations are people.

  13. Eagle Writer
    Aug 11, 2015, 8:21 pm

    I know I am going off topic a bit but, J Smith (1): Getting the money out of politics in a modified free market capitalist economy is like getting fish out of the water in a hatchery. You “could” do it, but the purpose of the hatchery is to have fish in the water.

    J Smith (2): Jimmy Carter, one of the finer men to have served as president continually reminds why he was an abject failure. He didn’t understand economics or the use of power then, and he doesn’t understand either today.

    Corporations, companies, LLC’s partnerships, etc., ARE people. If I can market my soap, jeans, cars and beer, then I can market my tax beliefs, candidates, etc., as an individual or as an organization. We wouldn’t want it any other way.

  14. Eagle Writer – Dictators all over the world thank you for your support!

  15. Matthew Hays
    Aug 16, 2015, 6:59 pm

    She wasn’t qualified by her own qualifications???

  16. Let’s consider, if you want to hire a manager of a football or baseball team, surely you would have wanted that individual to have played the game at one point in their career. Same goes for head of the State Schools, some career experience in the schools should be a basic requirement. There are plenty of qualified people with education experience that would make a State Schools Supt.

  17. Could this be the work of the Darth Vader-like “special assistant” some have characterized as being to Ms. Ybarra what Dick Cheney was to G.W. Bush?

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