COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio State Board of Education interviewed the three finalists for the state's education superintendent job Monday, and the board is expected to vote on an appointment resolution Tuesday, officials said.
What You Need To Know
- The State Board of Education interviewed finalists for the education superintendent job on Monday
- Officials said the board is expected to vote Tuesday on a resolution appointing the superintendent
- Three education leaders in Ohio are the finalists to head the Ohio Department of Education
The board met privately on Monday. Part of Tuesday’s meeting, which begins at 8 a.m., will also be private. Later in the day, the board is expected to hold a public vote to select the next superintendent of public instruction. It will be streamed on the Ohio Channel.
The three finalists are Steve Dackin, former VP of the state education board, Springboro Schools Superintendent Larry Hook and Perrysburg Schools Superintendent Thomas Hosler. You can read more about their backgrounds in this article.
Former Superintendent of Public Instruction Paolo DeMaria stepped down in the fall. The next superintendent will take over duties from Stephanie Siddens, interim education superintendent, who did not apply for the role.
Dackin, who received the most votes to be a finalist at an April 28 board meeting, was in charge of the superintendent search earlier in the process before he resigned as vice president of the board to apply for the job.
Spectrum News reached out to Dackin about his transition from leading the search to being a candidate for the position. He did not comment, but he said he answered a series of written questions from the board.
The Ohio Department of Education shared documents with Dackin’s written answers to board questions, as well as responses from the other candidates, which were first reported by Cleveland.com.
The candidates' responses, which are 6 to 11 pages in length, addressed their qualifications for the position and their visions for education in Ohio.
Dackin said he has built good relationships with board members and said he understands the changes that are needed at the Ohio Department of Education, but he did not address his prior involvement with the superintendent search.
“After working on this Board, I believe we have more in common than differences as a collective group. Ensuring students can read at or above grade level and are job-ready upon graduation are two good places to start,” he said. “I am not applying to manage the status quo. I have the successful executive experience, relationships, skills and drive to make the difference we seek.”
Dackin said learning loss is the most pressing issue in education, citing studies showing Ohio students fell behind in reading during the pandemic. He said he would create a plan in his first 90 days to address the issue.
Hook railed against what he sees as flawed progressive agendas in education. Answering a question about challenges to the future of social studies education, he said Ohio students shouldn’t be taught that the U.S. or its legal system is systemically racist, that socialism is superior to democracy, or that anyone should feel guilt due to their race or gender.
“I do believe that some of America’s past was wrong, certainly, but so is the history of every country on the planet. With that being said, I will declare that the United States of America is the greatest country, even with some of our flaws, in the entire world,” he said.
Hosler, in his written responses to the board’s questions, said he is concerned by what he sees as attempts to politicize learning standards by both sides of the aisle.
“I am a practicing superintendent who this week was speaking with students, their families and teachers about issues that matter to them most,” he said. “While I have proven to be an effective advocate for my students, students across the state and a frequent visitor to the legislature, I do not put politics first… I make decisions about reading programs, staffing, budgets, and return calls to parents who are unhappy about not having snow days.”
He also said he would prioritize supporting students’ mental health needs if he is selected for the superintendent position.