Controversial Hessian Minister resigns

Hessian Minister of Education Karin Wolff has resigned, after coming under fire in the recent state parliamentary elections for her rapid pace of reforms. On Wednesday, Wolff published a letter to Hessian Premier Roland Koch (CDU), saying that she will not be in the next state government.

“You will understand that, with self discipline, I consider many of the accusations that have been brought up as unjust,” wrote the resigning minister in her letter. She also said that the value of her reforms will be recognized in time. Roland Koch accepted her resignation with “respect” and thanked her for her nine years of service. He praised Wolff for modernizing the Hessian schools.

Karin Wolff became Hessian Minister of Culture in 1999. A core theme of her time in office was a program aimed at preventing students from dropping out. Wolff introduced a central Abitur in Hesse. Abitur is the test German students take in order to complete their upper secondary education. She also started a pre-school language instruction program.

Andrea Ypsilanti, head of the Hessian SPD party called Wolff’s resignation “overdue.” The minister received a great deal of criticism for shortening upper secondary education from nine to eight years. She was accused of supporting creationism after having made public statements supporting “students in biology (being) confronted with lessons in evolution and students in religion class (being) confronted with creationism.” The former religion teacher denied the accusations that she was a creationist.