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Education


Watchdog says Ohio's top school official violated the ethics code
Ohio inspector general say testing company deal was a big problem
by WKSU's IDA LIESZKOVSZKY


Reporter
Ida Lieszkovszky
 
Ohio Department of Education Superintendent Stan Heffner
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Just a week after the state auditor’s office announced it will investigate the Ohio Department of Education to see if it was involved in attendance rigging at Ohio schools, the Inspector General has logged an ethics violation against the State Superintendent of Public Instruction. StateImpact Ohio’s Ida Lieszkovszky has this report.

Lieszkovszky on the state school chief

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Last year, then interim-superintendent Stan Heffner testified before Ohio lawmakers in support of a bill that would increase teacher testing. That bill could have directly benefited one of the nation’s largest for-profit testing companies: the Educational Testing Service.

The problem? Heffner had already signed a contract with Education Testing Service to go work for them in Texas.

“This is a huge deal, any time you betray public trust.”

That’s Randall Meyer, Ohio’s inspector general.

“He knew he was seeking employment with ETS; he knew ETS was at least in the market to get some of the testing for the state of Ohio. They’re one of the two largest testing firms in the country. He should (have used) some common sense in this and thought, ‘I may have some problems giving this testimony.’”

Heffner apologized in a statement, saying,  “I have learned from my mistakes and I will work with the Board to take whatever steps they feel are necessary to resolve this matter and move forward.”

State Board of Education President Debe Terhar said in a statement that she is “disturbed” by the findings, and that Heffner showed a “woeful lack of judgment.”

Heffner has not resigned, but the Board is set to consider the report at its next meeting in September. It has 60 days to decide on any disciplinary action.

Read the full report:
http://watchdog.ohio.gov/Portals/0/pdf/investigations/2011_139.pdf 


Related Links & Resources
StateImpact Ohio: Eye on Education

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