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Key senator against changes to Indiana schools chief

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The leader of Indiana's Senate Education Committee said Tuesday that Republicans shouldn't change the state schools superintendent position to one appointed by the governor following the election of a Democrat to that office.

Republican Sen. Dennis Kruse said he would oppose any effort to make the job an appointed one, at least until incoming schools Superintendent Glenda Ritz's term expires in 2016.

"I like more people being elected overall. I just think it's healthier for our society and healthier for our economy and accountability to have more people elected, to have more people answer to the people," Kruse said.

Ritz, an Indianapolis school librarian, upset Republican incumbent Tony Bennett in last month's election with the help of teachers who opposed changes he pushed, including measures tying teacher pay to student performance, a school takeover plan and the nation's largest use of school vouchers.

Her grass-roots victory sparked renewed Statehouse talk of letting the governor pick the state's top education official. Only 11 states elect their top education official.

Kruse said the idea could merit consideration in Indiana but that it wouldn't be right to make a change before Ritz's term is up.

"They won't get my vote unless they wait," he said.

Kruse was meeting with Ritz Tuesday afternoon to discuss issues ahead of the 2013 legislative session.

Kruse said lawmakers plan to review the A-F school grading system Bennett rolled out just before the election and could find common ground with Ritz with concerns over the national Common Core Standards and a new third-grade reading test.

"I think there's ground there to work together and to try and make these improvements," he said.

Ritz's campaign was based on the notion that Bennett moved too fast and that his efforts weren't in students' best interest. Many teachers have said they hope she can roll back some of Bennett's changes, but it's unclear how much she'll be able to do as a Democrat working with a Republican governor and Legislature.

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  • Tony was defeted not by teachers, but by his anti-eduction policies.
    I voted against Tony Bennett not because of a teacher action, but because I saw how Tony was selling education to commercial interests. I took exception to his office being too busy to respond to public requests for information. I found his "State of Education" speech (to a private audience) to be an egotistical self-promotion rather than a report on our schools. (First Mitch spends ten minutes saying Tony is the best, then Tony reads from the teleprompter for ten minutes about Mitch being the greatest. It is not a good video for children to view.) I feel that one cannot judge a teacher by student test scores. (and a long list of other items) I used to take the Indianapolis Star, and now the Fort Wayne paper. Fort Wayne gave a much different story on Tony Bennett than the Indianapolis Star. (Taking a press release and calling it news is not reporting.)
  • Appoint
    So 11 states elect the chief education officer and 39 appoint it. It seems that this should be part of the governor's staff. This could ensure that the person is qualified and doing their job. I think back on the Marion County Prosecutor which seems like it should also be appointed. Brizzi could not be removed due to his seemingly unethical dealings because he was elected.

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  1. I had read earlier this spring that Noodles & Co was going to open in the Fishers Marketplace (which is SR 37 and 131st St, not 141st St, just FYI). Any word on that? Also, do you happen to know what is being built in Carmel at Pennsylvania and Old Meridian? May just be an office building but I'm not sure.

  2. I'm sorry, but you are flat out wrong. There are few tracks in the world with the history of IMS and probably NO OTHER as widely known and recognized. I don't care what you think about the stat of Indy Car racing, these are pretty hard things to dispute.

  3. Also wondering if there is an update on the Brockway Pub-Danny Boy restaurant/taproom that was planned for the village as well?

  4. Why does the majority get to trample on the rights of the minority? You do realize that banning gay marriage does not rid the world of gay people, right? They are still going to be around and they are still going to continue to exist. The best way to get it all out of the spotlight? LEGALIZE IT! If gay marriage is legal, they will get to stop trying to push for it and you will get to stop seeing it all over the news. Why do Christians get to decide what is moral?? Why do you get to push your religion on others? How would legalizing gay marriage expose their lifestyle to your children? By the way, their lifestyle is going to continue whether gay marriage is legalized or not. It's been legal in Canada for quite a while now and they seem to be doing just fine. What about actual rules handed down by God? What about not working on Sundays? What about obeying your parents? What about adultery? These are in the 10 Commandments, the most important of God's rules. Yet they are all perfectly legal. What about divorce? Only God is allowed to dissolve a marriage so why don't you work hard to get divorce banned? Why do you get to pick and choose the parts of the Bible you care about?

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