Glenda Ritz Questions Legality Of School Assesment System

Ritz says metrics system violates state law because it measures schools against other schools, a claim Bennett's campaign denies.

Glenda Ritz

Photo: Glenda Ritz

Glenda Ritz is the Democratic candidate for state superintendent.

The candidate challenging the state‘s school superintendent Tony Bennett this fall not only does not like his measurement of school success, she also says it is illegal, something Bennett’s campaign denies.

Democrat Glenda Ritz says the criteria approved by the State Board of Education in February to determine the A-F grades for schools and school districts violates the state‘s law on how schools are to be assessed. Ritz says the state is not supposed to measure students against their peers at other schools.

“The law very clearly says it must be based upon the improvement of the actual school system to its own improvement,” Ritz says. “So, you got to have scores and information based on your own school compared to your own school.”

Bennett‘s campaign manager Ross McMullin said school letter grades have been thoroughly vetted and approved.

Chairman of the House Education Committee Representative Bob Behning says there was some concern expressed by the bi-partisan Select Commission on Education on the system used to generate the letter grades, but says it was over how the metrics were put together and not whether they were legal.

“It has been a little bit different than what we have done in the past, but from the very inception of our state accountability, we have been grading schools,” Behning says.

Behning says he is not sure whether Ritz understands the grade system metrics but says he is confident they are sound and that the Select Commission will leave them alone for this year.

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