COLUMBUS (TDB) -- Gov. Ted Strickland wants to jettison the state superintendent of public instruction. She has let it be known she's a grandmother afflicted with a reading disorder. The governor has another word for her -- "psychometrician," a word that had some Ohioans running for their dictionaries.
Susan Tave Zelman told Ohioans earlier this year she suffers from dyslexia -- a mild case, of course. Zelman, who's been the state's top education official since 1999, holds a doctorate from the University of Michigan. She discussed her learning disability during brief remarks earlier this year to the statewide special education leadership conference in Columbus:
"As the first mother and grandmother who is superindentent of Ohio's public schools, I share your hopes and goals for the success of our children, I hope you share mine. As someone with mild dyslexia and the mother of children with mild disabilities, I understand."
Strickland wants the dyslexic superintendent gone so he can take responsibility -- and greater control -- over Ohio's schools. He's not a fan of Zelman:
"But she's not a leader, she's not an advocate, she's not a good manager. She's an academician, a psychometrician, a statistician."
Dyslexic is a fairly common word nowadays. It means that someone has a tendency to mix up or confuse letters in words while they read -- "Susan" might be seen as "nuisance." As for "psychometrician," that means somebody who uses tests to measure aptitude or personality. It does not mean a nutjob addicted to the metric system of weights and measures. There is more about psychometrics here and here. And if you want to take a psychometric test, this British Web site will measure your personality profile.