Richard Ross (Ohio)

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Richard Ross
Ohio Superintendent of Public Instruction
In office
March 25, 2013-present
Years in position 2
PredecessorMichael Sawyers
Base salary$192,504
Elections and appointments
AppointedMarch 2013
Appointed byOhio Board of Education
Term limitsN/A
Bachelor'sThe Ohio State University
Master'sThe Ohio State University
Ph.D.Bowling Green State University
Office website
Richard Ross is the current Ohio Superintendent of Public Instruction. He was hired by the Ohio Board of Education and assumed office on March 25, 2013. Previous officeholder Stan Heffner stepped down amid revelations that he had committed several ethics violations stemming from his interactions with Educational Testing Services.[1] Michael Sawyers, the Deputy Superintendent at the time of Heffner's departure, was asked to filled in until the State Board of Education, which employs the Superintendent, could appoint a permanent replacement.[2]


  • Bachelor's, social studies, The Ohio State University *Master’s of Educational Administration, The Ohio State University
  • Doctorate in Educational Administration, Bowling Green State University.

Political Career

Superintendent of Public Instruction (2013-present)

Ross was appointed Ohio Superintendent of Public Instruction by the Ohio Board of Education, effective March 25, 2013.[3] He beat out acting superintendent and fellow finalist for the position Michael Sawyers, who had been serving temporarily while the board, which employs the Superintendent, searched for a permanent replacement for Stan Heffner.[2] Sawyers was the deputy superintendent when Heffner resigned in July 2012 and he was asked to assume the role. Heffner tendered his resignation in July 2012 amid an investigation by the state inspector general into Heffner's relationship with Educational Testing Services, which had offered Heffner a job and presented a conflict of interest.[4] Heffner's resignation went into effect August 10, 2012.

Common Core

Ross supports the implementation of Common Core education standards in Ohio.[5] Ross is an ally of Ohio Governor John Kasich, who also strongly supports Common core, and defends the standards. According to The Plain Dealer, Ross stated that "...opposition often comes from people worried that their school district's scores will drop under the multistate tests. Rather than complaining...they should try to improve so students do well on the tests."[6] He is joined in his support of Common Core by leaders in the Republican-controlled legislature and the Ohio Business Roundtable, a group of powerful CEOs.[5]

Opposition to Common Core has been mild in Ohio so far. A move by a backbench Republican state representative to delay funding for Common Core implementation was stalled in committee by Ohio House leadership.[6] As of summer 2014, Tea Party members, from both local and out-of-state groups, have begun to rally against the standards.[5][6]



Ross was appointed Acting Ohio Superintendent of Public Instruction by the Ohio State Board of Education effective March 25, 2013.

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Political offices
Preceded by
Michael Sawyers
Ohio Superintendent of Public Instruction
March 25, 2013 - present
Succeeded by