Anti-CRT Candidate, Former State School Board Member on Ohio’s New Education Supervisor Candidate List

Columbus, Ohio – The Ohio State Board of Education announced Friday that it will interview seven candidates to be the state’s next supervisor of public instruction later this month.

The seven candidates, who come from 27 people who have applied to be the state’s head of education, include a former board member who resigned shortly before he applied and a former U.S. Department of Education official whose agency canceled an Obama administration effort to address the race. Gaps in school discipline.

State Council members will interview the candidates behind closed doors on April 11 and 12, according to a statement from the Ohio Department of Education. Since Paolo Demaria retired as state inspector last September, Stephanie Calcium has served as interim inspector. She did not apply to leave the post permanently.

The change in leadership comes at a divisive moment in public education in Ohio and across the state, as issues such as equality and social emotional learning have become critical political meeting points. Last fall, Gov. Mike de Wayne asked two members of the state Board of Education to resign after refusing to overturn an anti-racism decision made after the 2020 murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer.

One of the seven candidates for commissioner is Steve Dakin, who resigned as vice president of the state education council in February, three days before he applied to be state commissioner.

Dakkin, a resident of Columbus, said in a letter last December that he had been asked to “lead the search” for the next state inspector, although it is unclear what role he played in conducting the search before his resignation.

Dakin previously served as Superintendent of School and Community Partnerships at Columbus State Community College and as Superintendent of Reynoldsburg School, a suburb of Columbus.

A second candidate is Kimberly M. Richie, an attorney who served in the U.S. Department of Education during the Trump administration as an assistant secretary in the department’s Department of Civil Rights and in the Department of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services.

While serving in the previous role, Richie’s office revoked the non-binding recommendations made in 2014 about how schools can address the issue of disciplining colored students more than their white classmates.

The recommendations suggested that a school policy that leads to colored students being heard more than white students may violate the Federal Civil Rights Act, even if the policy was written with no intent to discriminate. However, in December 2018, the Trump administration released a report dismissing the Obama-era recommendations, stating that they rely “on a dubious reading of federal law” and “undermine the ability of local officials to address the impact of disciplinary matters on school safety.” ”

The Biden administration is now re-examining the Obama administration’s guidelines.

Last December, Richie wrote a report for the American Enterprise Institute, a right-wing think tank, stating that the Obama-era recommendations are based on “basic principles related to critical race theory” and that state officials can take a number of actions to oversee such testing, including appointing a commissioner. Complaints from the public that it could “take appropriate steps to protect schools from federal government oversight.”

Most recently, Rishi worked as the president of a consulting firm, RealignEd LLC. Her resume states that she drafted a model law, state regulations and school district policy “regulating the provision of race-based instruction in programs and activities to K-12”.

The other five interviewees for the State Inspectorate include:

  • Larry R. Hawk, Superintendent of Springborough Community City School District in southwest Ohio
  • Thomas L. Hussler, Superintendent of Schools in the exempt village of Frisburg in Parisburg, near Toledo
  • Finn Larsen, a veteran educator in Ohio and an educational consultant for the Christian Educators Association International, who calls on teachers to bring more Christianity to the classroom
  • David Paul Quatruchi, Superintendent of the County of Carolton County School of Exemption in Carol County
  • Dr. Roni Trechichi, Supervisor of the Pansock Public Schools in Pansock, New Jersey, near Philadelphia

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