Wednesday, July 26, 2006
Michael Baksa, late of the Dover School District and a star witness in the recent Intelligent Design trial there, is moving on. The Dover School Board had recently refused to renew Mr. Baska's contract as Assistant Superintendent, as well as the contract of the Superintendent Richard Nilsen.
It was widely surmised that the new board, voted in just as the trial was ending and composed of opponents of the ID policy of the old board, took the action in retaliation because Nilsen's and Baska's actions in connection with the policy, particularly their agreement to read the ID statement in class when the teachers refused, may have been perceived as overly willing and contributed to the eventual $1 million dollar cost to the District. Presumably the argument would be that, if Nilsen and Baska had refused to cooperate, the old board might have been forced to abandon the policy.
On the other hand, some board members said that Nilsen and Baska could vie for the jobs when the contacts ended in 2007. Under state law, the board had to inform Nilsen and Baska at this time or their contract would have to be renewed when they ran out next year and it was just an opportunity for the board to see if better candidates could be attracted.
In any event, Baska has now landed the assistant superintendent position, which has been open for about a year, at the Hanover Pennsylvania School District.
Baska's testimony was rather helpful to the plaintiffs in the Dover case and displayed none of the suspicious memory failure about what the board members had said during the run up to the implementation of the policy that Nilsen suffered from. It is only fair to wish him well.
Photo from The Library of Congress American Memory Collection.