Sunday, October 27, 2013

Board Members to Ritz: "Put Politics Aside, Drop Suit"

Four members of the the state Board of Education have given Glenda Ritz a letter taking the position that they "don’t believe politics have any business in education,” and urge the Superintendent to drop her suit against them, to “put politics aside and come to the table ready to put the interests of students, teachers and schools first.”

Do these political appointees really believe that public education is outside politics? When they took their desire to speed up the school grading process to the two leaders of the state legislative bodies and the governor? When voters replaced an incumbent Superintendent of Public Instruction with a different one precisely because they were unhappy with the his approach to public education? When education is one of the biggest items on the state's budget? When the voucher program, school grading, charter schools, school funding are some of the hottest political issues in our state?

It's not that one side is being political and the other isn't. It's that there is a difference of policy, a difference in ideas about what constitutes "putting the interest of students, teachers, and schools first." However, it must be said that Indiana voters explicitly rejected the Board's Tony Bennett policies when they elected Glenda Ritz. If any politics should be "put aside" here, it's theirs.

You can read the Board members' letter here.