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Schools superintendent did right thing by resigning

State schools Superintendent Stan Heffner did one thing right regarding an Ohio inspector general’s report that he may have violated Ohio law when, as interim superintendent last year, he promoted a law about which he had an undisclosed conflict of interest and had his staff do extensive personal work for him on state time. He’s resigned.

But more than just “mistakes” were made when Heffner hid the fact he’d already accepted a job with New Jersey-based Educational Testing Service while testifying in favor of legislation benefiting ETS, whose tests would be used under the bill’s teacher-evaluation requirement. Heffner was named superintendent after the testimony, in July 2011, and turned down the ETS job at that time.

More than “mistakes” were made when he effectively turned the Ohio Department of Education into his personal job-hunting and relocation service….

Heffner’s actions as the state’s chief education official undermine the integrity of a department accountable for the test data and policy that undergird Ohio’s educational system.

He should be held fully accountable, and the state should ensure that his successor puts the public’s interest ahead of any personal ones.

The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer