Superintendent-elect Glenda Ritz begins statewide education reform first day after election

Ritz hosts transition team meeting Wednesday

INDIANAPOLIS - Superintendent of Public Instruction-elect Glenda Ritz was the leading vote earner in the state, behind Mitt Romney and Attorney General Greg Zoeller.

Dr. Tony Bennett's political career came to an end Tuesday night when first-time candidate Ritz, who said she was outspent 10 to 1, pulled off the upset.

Teachers fed up with Bennett's reforms circulated 90,000 postcards and communicated on Facebook their intention to oust Bennett.

"This is truly a David and Goliath story," said Nate Schnellenberger, with the Indiana State Teachers Association. "I think it is one of the largest upsets in Indiana history."

Most galling to teachers about the Bennett administration was the A through F grading system for schools. Teacher evaluations are currently based on those test scores, and Ritz wants to alter that evaluation formula.

Wednesday, Ritz was already putting wheels in motion to improve education statewide.

The former teacher of the year had a transition team meeting already on Wednesday. Change is coming, but it will be change with teacher input.

"It's very complicated. I want to simplify it," Ritz said. "I just want to have student growth measured.  Teacher evaluations are rigorous with quality. Of course student scores, we want to have a simplified accountability system, not an A through F designation."

Under Ritz's administration, teachers will be at the table to help determine new guidelines.

"She's going to say, 'How can we help you achieve what you need to be achieving? Here's where you need to get. We are going to help you get there,'" said Schnellenberger.
 

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