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Next Ohio school chief must pass test of public trust

November 17, 2012
Salem News

Ohio state Board of Education members met this week to discuss the search for a new superintendent of schools. Perhaps it ought to include some sort of test to determine whether applicants possess basic common sense and at least some concern over ethics.

Clearly, former Superintendent Stan Heffner was missing those qualities.

Heffner resigned Aug. 4 after it was learned he had been involved in both a conflict of interest and misuse of state resources.

The conflict of interest occurred when Heffner lobbied state legislators on behalf of a bill that would have benefited a major testing company. At the time, Heffner planned to go to work for that firm.

It also was learned that while superintendent, Heffner had his assistant handle some paperwork and other tasks related to taking the new job.

Heffner described his actions as "mistakes," but it is difficult to comprehend how someone in a position that high did not understand what he was doing was wrong.

Public school reform is being considered by state education officials, as well as Gov. John Kasich and legislators. If the public is to have any confidence in major changes needed to accomplish that, Ohioans will have to be able to trust their state superintendent of schools. It will be up to state school board members to hire someone who meets that test.

 
 

 

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