Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Where's the outrage? Beshear administration changes qualifying process for state merit jobs

UPDATE: We thought we had a scoop here, but shortly after posting this, one of us opened a dead-tree copy of the Lexington Herald-Leader and saw a story on this very subject. Oh well....

During the Ernie Fletcher administration, the Personnel Cabinet consolidated a number of state merit system job classifications and changed the selection method for these jobs -- mostly clerical and administrative -- so that a trip to Frankfort to take a multiple-choice written test to get on a merit register was no longer necessary.

The Democrats cried foul, claiming that this was done solely to allow the Fletcherites to hire their unqualified political backers and cronies who could never qualify for a state job if they had to demonstrate knowledge via a written examination.

Never mind that a trip to Frankfort to apply and test for a secretarial job in Ballard or Boyd counties was and remains a major inconvenience in terms of time and expense, and never mind that most of the written tests were hopelessly outdated and many of the questions were ambiguous, where applicants often faced two correct answers out of four possibilities and had to choose the one that was deemed "most correct" in a subjective setting. Also never mind that if an applicant chose to test in one of the Saturday sessions sometimes offered in distant areas of the state, most times the application period for the vacancy had expired by the time a test was offered in the applicant's area of the commonwealth. This was just another way for the Fletcher administration to violate personnel laws, the Democrats screamed.

Fast forward a few years. The Beshear administration has eliminated testing for ALL state merit system jobs. Now applicants fill out their applications online, list their relevant education, training and experience, and are scored based on that. No written tests required.

So where's the outrage?

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