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Steve Dackin selected to lead Ohio Department of Education

 Steve Dackin, Superintendent of Public Instruction at the Ohio Department of Education.
Ohio Department of Education
Steve Dackin, Superintendent of Public Instruction at the Ohio Department of Education.

The state board of education voted to appoint Steve Dackin as superintendent of public instruction at the Ohio Department of Education.

Dackin, the former vice president of the state board of education, got the job with a 14-4 vote among the board members.

Before applying for the position, Dackin was leading the process to fill the role left open by the resignation of former state superintendent Paolo DeMaria.

There are lingering questions among critics about the access Dackin had to material submitted by other applicants.

While the other candidates had said they were concerned about political agendas in schools, Dackin said his top concern was learning loss from the pandemic.

Several groups and leaders congratulated Dackin on the new role.

The Ohio School Boards Association noted Dackin's more than 40 years of experience in educational leadership positions, which included six years as Reynoldsburg City School superintendent and a recent post as superintendent of school and community partnerships for Columbus State University.

"Steve has a storied career in education, with a demonstrated track record of improving education and achievement for students. We look forward to addressing these challenges together," the Ohio School Boards Association wrote in a statement.

The Thomas B. Fordham Institute, a charter school sponsor and advocacy group, also commended Dackin's appointment.

Chad Aldis, vice president for Ohio policy at the Fordham Institute said Dackin is "a proven leader who has throughout his career emphasized high expectations for all students and recognized the importance of empowering parents with high quality education options."

The search for a new state superintendent began after Paolo DeMaria announced in July 2021 that he would retire. His last day with the department of education was September 21, 2021.

DeMaria became the fourth superintendent to take the helm of ODE in five years, but went on to serve in that post for five years under two different Ohio governors.

DeMaria took over as head of the education department in the middle of former Gov. John Kasich's time in office, then continued to serve during the first years of Gov. Mike DeWine's administration.

DeWine also released a statement in support of Dackin's appointment.

"I congratulate Steve Dackin on his selection as superintendent of public instruction by the State Board of Education. His experience, both as a member of the board and in public education, will help him be an effective voice for Ohio’s students and their parents as he leads the department of education," DeWine said in a statement.

Copyright 2022 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.

Andy Chow is a general assignment state government reporter who focuses on environmental, energy, agriculture, and education-related issues. He started his journalism career as an associate producer with ABC 6/FOX 28 in Columbus before becoming a producer with WBNS 10TV.
Karen is a lifelong Ohioan who has served as news director at WCBE-FM, assignment editor/overnight anchor at WBNS-TV, and afternoon drive anchor/assignment editor in WTAM-AM in Cleveland. In addition to her daily reporting for Ohio’s public radio stations, she’s reported for NPR, the BBC, ABC Radio News and other news outlets. She hosts and produces the Statehouse News Bureau’s weekly TV show “The State of Ohio”, which airs on PBS stations statewide. She’s also a frequent guest on WOSU TV’s “Columbus on the Record”, a regular panelist on “The Sound of Ideas” on ideastream in Cleveland, appeared on the inaugural edition of “Face the State” on WBNS-TV and occasionally reports for “PBS Newshour”. She’s often called to moderate debates, including the Columbus Metropolitan Club’s Issue 3/legal marijuana debate and its pre-primary mayoral debate, and the City Club of Cleveland’s US Senate debate in 2012.