Education is one of the most important functions of our state government, and yet State Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz continues to treat educational policy like it is her own political soapbox. Even Democrats are expressing their outrage at her behavior and tactics. It seems like every action she takes makes things more difficult on our teachers and students.
Now Ritz has improperly entered into a contract worth millions of dollars. It was revealed recently that she approved, without communicating with the state education board members or anyone else, a $3.3 million settlement with the company responsible for the ISTEP+ interruptions last year – nine months ago. Even worse, the Department of Education will receive in-kind services from the company as part of the settlement, half of which are undefined. And, as part of the settlement, Indiana cannot pursue any other claims for the company's horrendous conduct during the 2013 testing.
The public deserves to know how its money is being spent, and Ritz is not providing the same transparency we receive from Gov. Mike Pence, Secretary of State Connie Lawson, and the rest of our Republican state officials. We expect more out of our elected officials than what Ritz is giving us.
While Ritz plays politics and shows time and time again she is incapable of running a statewide office, I cannot wait until November 2016, and neither can the youth of Indiana. The students, parents, teachers and taxpayers deserve better than we are getting from the state superintendent of public instruction.