Should state education chiefs be elected or appointed?

If it were up to Walter Dalton and Pat McCrory, they’d have a little less company on the ballot in North Carolina this year, Stateline reports. In particular, they wouldn’t be sharing space with candidates for State Superintendent of Public Instruction. Dalton and McCrory are opposing gubernatorial nominees, but they agree on one thing: The governor ought to be able to appoint the state’s top education official. It doesn’t appear that wish will be granted anytime soon — making the office appointive would require a constitutional amendment. But the proper role of the schools chief is central to the campaign of Democrat June Atkinson, who currently holds the position in North Carolina, and to some of her counterparts across the country. Some 13 states currently make their top education official subject to a popular vote. And in virtually every one of those states, there are critics who ask why such an office should be so deeply involved in politics…

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