Teacher wrath boosts Ritz to upset in state education race

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

School librarian Glenda Ritz denied Republican Tony Bennett a second term as Indiana schools superintendent Tuesday as voters spurned a sweeping conservative education overhaul.

"This race was a referendum on the future of education in Indiana," Ritz said Tuesday night.

The Democrat's win was seen as a victory for Indiana teachers who have felt Bennett blamed them for school failures. Many educators have opposed changes under Bennett that include expanding charter school access, limiting teachers' collective bargaining and basing teacher pay raises on annual evaluations.

Bennett also pushed for the state's private school voucher program and oversaw the first state takeover of troubled public schools.

"I have no regrets," Bennett said in his concession speech, while acknowledging that some of his policies had proven unpopular.

Ritz pledged to roll back many of Bennett's changes, including a reading test that third-graders must pass to advance to fourth grade.

"I think the voters have been really clear that we want an education agenda, not a political agenda for our kids," she said.

Ritz said parents, not just teachers, disliked Bennett's changes, particularly a move toward private takeovers of public schools that repeatedly fail performance grades based largely on standardized tests.

"Parents around Indiana were concerned about high stakes testing and the A-F grade system that was imposed on us," she said.

"Teaching to the test, as we've been relegated to doing, is not providing students with a good education," Ritz added.

Ritz is an elementary school library media specialist in Washington Township schools in Indianapolis.


  • Effective Measures
    I have the privilege of working as a public school teacher in the state of Indiana. In the past, there have been poor teachers protected by a flawed system. I support teacher accountability because I think ALL kids have the right to a quality education and teachers. I do not, however, support public dollars funding private schools, nor do I support flawed teacher evaluation measures. It is the job of the superintendent to lead the charge to improve schools. I have no doubt about Bennett's clear passion for students. But any good educator knows you don't just focus on one stakeholder for optical students success. You have to have ALL on board... legislatures, administrators, community members, students, parents and a group Mr. Bennett has greatly disrespected by lumping the good ones in with the few poor ones... Teachers. We should all be working as partners in education, not as name-calling adversaries.
  • ___
    Watch the name-calling, I'd say. There was a legitimate loser on this issue and it was Mr. Bennett and his disdain for public schools. You can't name-call teachers and schools forever and expect to get away with it. I grew up in a public school.. Went to a private school for college.. Then back to public for my law degree. A public education is great so long as it is SUPPORTED and not undermined by directionless, seething anger such as is being displayed below.
  • Exactly why private schools thrive
    This is why those who can, leave IPS. The teachers union acts like a bunch of bratty teenagers, with regard only for their job security. Fine, keep at it. Enjoy driving your kids further into poverty while you stare at the clock waiting to beat the buses out of the parking lot everyday. Thank God for private schools. And shame on all of you for your rabid obstruction to charter and voucher schools. The essence of intellectual vapidity - you protect your jobs at the expense of the children you do not educate.
  • What a joke
    As a teacher, I feel that this is a complete joke and another example of unions and lazy, incompetent teachers deciding what is best for themselves rather than being serious about education reform. Glenda's knowledge of the Dewey decimal system should prove to be invaluable in making meaningful changes for our broken public education system. Total embarrassment.
  • Congrats, Indiana... you voted for a librarian
    So, the state got rid of an experienced administrator who was pushing for reform to replace him with the school librarian with apparently no experience handling money or policy in the public sector. She won't know what to do, so then she'll go back to the teacher's union that ran their last-minute fearmongering to get her in there, they'll stick their hands up her rear end and she'll be the puppet of the problem. Great... just great.

Post a comment to this story

We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. Of what value is selling alcoholic beverages to State Fair patrons when there are many families with children attending. Is this the message we want to give children attending and participating in the Fair, another venue with alooholic consumption onsite. Is this to promote beer and wine production in the state which are great for the breweries and wineries, but where does this end up 10-15 years from now, lots more drinkers for the alcoholic contents. If these drinks are so important, why not remove the alcohol content and the flavor and drink itself similar to soft drinks would be the novelty, not the alcoholic content and its affects on the drinker. There is no social or material benefit from drinking alcoholic beverages, mostly people want to get slightly or highly drunk.

  2. I did;nt know anyone in Indiana could count- WHY did they NOT SAY just HOW this would be enforced? Because it WON;T! NOW- with that said- BIG BROTHER is ALIVE in this Article-why take any comment if it won't appease YOU PEOPLE- that's NOT American- with EVERYTHING you indicated is NOT said-I can see WHY it say's o Comments- YOU are COMMIES- BIG BROTHER and most likely- voted for Obama!

  3. In Europe there are schools for hairdressing but you don't get a license afterwards but you are required to assist in turkey and Italy its 7 years in japan it's 10 years England 2 so these people who assist know how to do hair their not just anybody and if your an owner and you hire someone with no experience then ur an idiot I've known stylist from different countries with no license but they are professional clean and safe they have no license but they have experience a license doesn't mean anything look at all the bad hairdressers in the world that have fried peoples hair okay but they have a license doesn't make them a professional at their job I think they should get rid of it because stateboard robs stylist and owners and they fine you for the dumbest f***ing things oh ur license isn't displayed 100$ oh ur wearing open toe shoes fine, oh there's ONE HAIR IN UR BRUSH that's a fine it's like really? So I think they need to go or ease up on their regulations because their too strict

  4. Exciting times in Carmel.

  5. Twenty years ago when we moved to Indy I was a stay at home mom and knew not very many people.WIBC was my family and friends for the most part. It was informative, civil, and humerous with Dave the KING. Terri, Jeff, Stever, Big Joe, Matt, Pat and Crumie. I loved them all, and they seemed to love each other. I didn't mind Greg Garrison, but I was not a Rush fan. NOW I can't stand Chicks and all their giggly opinions. Tony Katz is to abrasive that early in the morning(or really any time). I will tune in on Saturday morning for the usual fun and priceless information from Pat and Crumie, mornings it will be 90.1