Editor, Times-Union:
I would like to commend Superintendent of Public Instruction for Indiana Glenda Ritz for having the tenacity to call into question tactics used by the Republican-appointed State Board of Education in their effort to wrest control our Indiana public schools away from her department and into the hands of the Republican-controlled Indiana General Assembly. This is the job Indiana voters elected her for.
The letter requesting control of the grading system to the Legislative Services Agency was drafted and approved while she was out of the country. Evidence that the motivation behind this suspicious move was a continuation of the Tea Party-backed war upon public education. Here is a brief synopsis of what has transpired since Jan 1:
• The State Board of Education, at Bennett’s last meeting, lowered the professional standards for an Indiana teacher license.
• The legislature expanded the one-year-old voucher program to make 60 percent of Indiana families eligible for the private-school entitlements.
• Lawmakers voted to write the A-F school grades into state law, even as they acknowledged the current grading formula is unintelligible.
• The governor used an executive order to create a new education bureaucracy, the Center for Education and Career Innovation, with two administrators and a 16-person staff paid for with money quietly slipped into the biennial budget last spring.
• The state board voted, in defiance of Ritz, to hire its own staff, at a cost to taxpayers likely to exceed $200,000 a year.
More detailed information on this subject on this can be found from several other state news sources.
Ted Carter
Leesburg, via e-mail