COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH)– Several state school board members are preparing to offer a resolution requesting an independent investigation of the Ohio Department of Education’s charter oversight office in the wake of its director’s resignation.
A resolution to be offered Tuesday would require the department to initiate an outside probe into the Office of School Choice and actions of its former director, David Hansen. Hansen’s resignation was forced after he acknowledged at the board’s last meeting that he omitted certain failing grades of online and dropout recovery schools from state evaluations of charter school sponsors. Hansen said he didn’t want to “mask” successes elsewhere.
State School Superintendent Richard Ross said Tuesday that Hansen’s actions were inappropriate and unacceptable. “We want to believe employees will do the right thing but that didn’t happen,”Ross said. “It is my responsibility because it happened under my watch.”
Ross said the department will have a whistleblower policy in the future to ensure employees are comfortable coming forward.
The resolution follows calls for the probe by a subgroup of board members, mostly Democratic state lawmakers and Ohio’s two largest teachers’ unions. A vote is not likely until October.