Letter: Edelblut not right for Education Commissioner

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Dover resident Chuck Rhoades submitted the following letter to Foster’s Daily Democrat about Frank Edelblut’s nomination:

I oppose the nomination of Frank Edelblut as Education Commissioner for the State of New Hampshire.

In the business world, where Mr. Edelblut has worked, relevant training and experience are guiding principles in hiring, especially for those in management-type positions. You can find this basic concept on-line, in companies ranging from Google to Amazon to Marriot to Human Resource Management consultants and business schools nationwide. By this metric alone, Mr. Edelblut is spectacularly unqualified for the post, having no training or experience as an employee in public education.

It is incumbent on an Education Commissioner to believe in and promote the core values of the state educational system and the NH Constitution. I seriously question Mr. Edelblut’s commitment to these fundamental principles. He has supported giving away limited funds for public education to private and religious schools and charter schools. He has been vague and evasive in responding to media questions and in Tuesday’s Executive Council hearing on whether he is a proponent of teaching Creationism and so-called Intelligent Design, belief systems that lack scientific credibility.

He speaks of empowering local school board but has never served on one. He has disdained involvement in possibly the most important shared institution in the nation by choosing to homeschool his seven children.

My staunchly Republican parents sent me to parochial school for the first 12 years of my education. Despite a modest income, they willingly paid all of the tuition and fees, understanding that living their beliefs required taking such responsibility. They understood that when the Wall of Separation between Church and State is breached, as I fear Mr. Edelblut and Governor Sununu are heading, the result is destructive to both.

President James Madison, a primary author of the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights, and a deeply religious man, remonstrated against public funding of religious enterprises. Among his many arguments against using tax dollars to support religions was that such action hurt both the state and the free exercise of religion. He wrote, “Who does not see that the same authority which can establish Christianity, in exclusion of all other Religions, may establish with the same ease any particular sect of Christians?”

We have Catholic, Greek and Russian Orthodox, Presbyterians, Methodists, Evangelicals, different Baptist denominations, Congregationalists, and many other Christian denominations. We have Unitarian Universalists, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Wiccans, Humanists, atheists, and people unaffiliated with any established belief entity. Public education serves them all in a way that seeks to not only build common ground and purpose, but appreciation of the rights of all, as Americans. If Mr. Edelblut and Governor Sununu intend to fund any one of these, they are being unfair to all the rest.

If you value education, our public schools, the principle of church-state separation, and the principles of placing qualified individuals in important public office, you will reject Frank Edelblut for Education Commissioner. Please contact the Executive Council at NH.Gov to join me in this.

 

Read the full letter here.