Eye on Education

New State Board of Education Appointee Stanley Jackson Played for Ohio State But Never Graduated

Mike Powell / Allsport/Getty Images

Stanley Jackson played football for Ohio State University before going on to play on Canadian football teams.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich has appointed a television sports commentator and former Canadian league football player to the state Board of Education.

Stanley Jackson, a Republican from Marion, attended Ohio State University and played football there, but does not appear to have graduated, Ohio State spokesperson Amy Murray said.

Kasich spokesperson Rob Nichols said he was “sure our people” were aware that Jackson had not graduated from Ohio State and said he did not know if Jackson had graduated from another college.

Jackson, a Republican from Marion, will serve out the remaining six months of former board member Dennis Reardon’s term, according to a press release from the governor’s office. Reardon, an appointee of former Gov. Ted Strickland, resigned earlier this month.

The state Board of Education has 19 members: Eleven members elected from specific districts and eight at-large members appointed by the governor. With Jackson’s appointment, seven of the eight appointed members were appointed by Gov. Kasich.

The state Board of Education votes on issues including discipline for misbehaving teachers, charter school sponsorship, territory transfers among school districts, rules that govern various aspects of school operations and appointing the head of the Ohio Department of Education.

Among the issues facing the state Board of Education are how a new, national curriculum and new, state-developed curricula will be used in Ohio schools, how to develop new models for evaluating teachers and principals, and, under the first years of the new third grade reading guarantee, how high third graders must score on state reading tests to advance to fourth grade.

Kasich spokesperson Rob Nichols said Jackson is currently a candidate for an elected seat on the State Board of Education. Nichols said Jackson’s candidacy was what brought him to the attention of the governor’s office.

However, Jackson has not actually filed to run for state Board of Education, according to the Allen County Board of Elections. The deadline to file is Aug. 8.

A brief bio of Jackson from an April 2012 fundraiser he did for a Columbus-area school district says:

Mr. Jackson does color commentary on 610 WTVN for the best Buckeye coverage [sic] and has just started a new show called Jacksonville Sunday Nights from 7 – 9 p.m.  Stanley Jackson is the founder of Masters Preparatory Academy Charter School a singer [sic] gender school for African American males, and Integrated American Media (IAM) television network which provides Christian conservative viewpoints for minority communities.

Columbus Business First reports that Jackson has worked in marketing at a Columbus television station. He grew up in Paterson, New Jersey.

“In meeting with him, we recognized that he shares the governor’s views,” Nichols said.

Kasich considered “a number” of people for this state Board of Education appointment, Nichols said. Jackson met with members of the governor’s staff including lead education policy advisor Dick Ross and with state Superintendent of Public Instruction Stan Heffner, but the governor’s office does not currently have a copy of Jackson’s resume, Nichols said.

Nichols said there’s no requirement that state board appointees provide resumes and there’s no requirement that they have college degrees.

However, it is common for governors to request resumes of potential appointees and most current state board members do have college degrees.

Of the seven current state board members appointed prior to Jackson, two have professional experience in education: Ohio private college lobbyist and former U.S. Department of Education official C. Todd Jones and retired superintendent A. Dennis Shelton. Most appointed members have served on local school boards. Here’s the complete list:

  • Corporate attorney Angela Thi Bennett (term expires Dec. 31, 2012, Kasich appointee)
  • Private college lobbyist C. Todd Jones (term expires Dec. 31, 2012, Kasich appointee)
  • Retired postmaster Dannie Greene (term expires Dec. 31, 2012, Strickland appointee)
  • Airline executive Joseph Farmer (term expires Dec. 31, 2014, Kasich appointee)
  • Construction/property management company executive Tom Gunlock (term expires Dec. 31, 2014, Kasich appointee)
  • Retired superintendent A. Dennis Shelton (term expires Dec. 31, 2014, Kasich appointee)
  • Stay-at-home mother Tess Elshoff (term expires Dec. 31, 2014, Kasich appointee)

We haven’t yet been able to get in touch with Jackson. A woman who answered the phone at a listed number for Jackson said today that it’s no longer his number.


  • Kathy M

    This appointment reflects many concerns regarding educational and political affairs in the state of Ohio. Where else can you be hired for a job without the employer knowing your educational status? Really, don’t they require potential employees to be “highly qualified” as they do for teachers? Such a high-stakes position should have more stringent qualifications for those who are appointed by the governor. The fact that this person’s decisions could impact the education of all of Ohio’s students and the future of teachers throughout the state should not be taken lightly.

  • Dean

    School board members are not employees. They are volunteers who are appointed and/or elected members of the communities they serve, who collectively serve with other board members to oversee funding, policies and administrators. It is part of a checks-and-balance system to keep administrators and school districts accountable, albeit imperfectly, but necessary. The state school board serves in this role at the state level. One person cannot make a decision for a school board, a school district, or system. A quorum must be in place in order for a majority of the collective body of the board to conduct any business or pass any motions. Strict sunshine laws are in place to ensure that discussions and decisions, outside of some exceptions such as employment or discipline of school employees and the purchasing of property, are held in a public forum. It is unfortunate that our “educational affairs” have become so political, however.

    It is important that the voice of people from all walks of life, backgrounds and educational attainment have a voice that reflects the people in their communities. In order to effectively inform and best serve the decision making process to represent local constituents, there are other qualities, skills and experiences that are just as, if not more valuable, in some cases, than a college degree. People without a college degree can often time teach others, including people with a college degree, just as much, if not more, about what is important in education. What is missing, what can make it better, why are so many people in our state not starting or completing a college degree, etc…

    A college degree matters, of course. But I know plenty of people with Ph.D.’s, and Master Degrees who cannot effectively communicate with people or who lack common sense.

    A college degree does not guarantee that a person is a critical thinker, is creative, is a good communicator, and can collaborate effectively. These qualities are vital for effective boards to function.

    • M.

      Although I agree with a lot of what you said I can’t help wonder why on earth you wouldn’t require a board member that has a voice in the discussion on education to be qualified? Yes, it is possible that people that have degrees may not be able to communicate well but are you insinuating that they couldn’t find anyone that was as good and also had a college degree? I find that hard to believe. A board does require a process by which decisions can’t be swayed by one person but they can be by the very person that appointed most of the members. You want policies of education to be decided on by someone that doesn’t have a college degree? What knowledge does he bring to a group that is supposed to be making educated decisions that affect the very endeavor he couldn’t complete? He can help us understand the pitfalls of education but don’t make him a decision maker. That’s the most absurd thing I can imagine. Please don’t tell me that this is a good move when we all know the idiocy of board members decisions have crippled the education system. We have just sunk to a new low. Let’s let blind people sit on the board of directors for flight school. They don’t have vision and aren’t qualified but maybe they have nice things to say about the quality of the floor tiles. It adds more to the discussion even if the discussion isn’t moving in the right direction.

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