We are taking a beating in the media, and we deserve it.
That’s the opening line of a letter sent yesterday (Aug. 3) to state superintendent of public instruction Dr. Richard Ross from seven members of the state school board.
The purpose of the brutal missive is to make a case for the hiring of “an independent firm to investigate you and the Department of Education to determine compliance with the laws and administrative rules of the State of Ohio, the laws and administrative rules of the United States, and the policies and procedures of the Ohio Department of Education all as applied to the oversight, operation and licensure of community schools in the State of Ohio.’’
The letter comes two weeks after state school board members accused the Ohio Department of Education of breaking state law by throwing F grades for online schools out of a key charter school evaluation this year.
Members of the state school board and State Sen. Peggy Lehner said David Hansen, ODE’s school choice director, was required by state law to include online schools and dropout recovery schools in evaluations of charter school oversight agencies.
The controversy caused Hansen to resign. But the board is now asking what did Dr. Ross know, and when did he know it.
More from the letter:
Like it or not, you are a prime suspect in what has occurred. Mr. Hansen may have taken the fall, but you were his boss. Whether by mismanagement, or deliberate instruction to Mr. Hansen, you are culpable as well.
(You can add your name to our petition here, if you believe that Dick Ross needs to go.)