Monday, March 25, 2013

A Few Musings About Jim Bolin's Candidacy For School A Public Lands

Via Pat Powers, I see that Jim Bolin has announced his candidacy for Commissioner of School and Public Lands.

I had the privilege of teaching in the classroom next to Jim's for a few years. He gave great lectures and made the young'uns think. I learned a few tricks of the trade by watching and listening to him practice his craft. The teaching experience was more years ago than either of us may want to admit. Over the years, we've kept in touch sporadically. We still can't call each other by our first names. a habit we formed when we taught together. I last spoke with him in early December, and I joked about his running for higher office.

I was one of several who helped him start his South Dakota political career by attending a Republican county meeting and casting a vote for him to be delegate to the state Republican convention.  We've moved in different directions politically, but we both agree that South Dakota schools, in the main, do a good job. He cast a courageous vote against HB 1234.  Although I'm not sure I understand the source of some of his objections to Common Core, we both agree that the Common Core will do little to improve students' achievement.

Because he is willing to listen to both sides, Bolin will be an excellent candidate for Commissioner of School and Public Lands. Of course the fact that people like me are willing to say good things about him may cause him some problems. Less than thirty minutes after Powers posted his announcement one commenter posted:
Jim’s alright, but just alright. He’s spends as much time pandering to liberals as he does conservatives.
I never thought listening to people with opposing views counted as pandering or made one a doubtful candidate.


caheidelberger said...

Yeah, but as Commissioner of School and Public Lands, how much real good could Bolin do for the schools? He can't influence any of the policies that affect our daily teaching (like the standards we agree waste our time), can he? I check the responsibilities for the office, and it looks like no fun at all. Why this office, Jim?

LK said...

You're probably right about the policy level.

I'm sure the position lets him talk about funding. That will be something.

It might be more than a single teacher can do in the legislature.

LK said...

I think we were both typing at the same time. As to the last question, he probably reads your blog as often as he reads mine, :)

Another thing, I just thought of, I don't know if Ann Tornberg wants to give it another shot, but this might give her a better chance.