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Superintendent Ritz Looks For Legislative Support

Ritz found support from the crowd about changing school testing in Indiana.

Glenda Ritz

Photo: ISTA

Glenda Ritz speaks with the media on the day she declared her candidacy for state superintendent.

Indiana’s state schools superintendent met with local legislators, teachers, and parents in Anderson this weekend to talk about the help she needs from the legislature to advance education.

While Hoosier students are in classrooms this spring taking the ISTEP + exam, state schools superintendent Glenda Ritz is trying to find a better way to measure student success.

“If you ask me today for the reading levels of the students of Indiana, I could give you zero information because we don’t collect it,” she says. “We don’t know the actual level of performance of any student in Indiana with our state test.  We just know whether they passed or failed a non-grade-level test.”

Ritz says the statewide skills test also does not show individual student progress for math. Ritz says she wants less testing in classrooms and targeted the IREAD-3 exam that her predecessor, Tony Bennett, began giving to third-grade students last year.

“Elementary teachers, teachers of reading, they know how to assess reading when they’re working right there with the kids. I don’t need to give them a test,” she says.

Ritz also tried to gain support for her other top priorities. She says she has support from the state legislature on her goal to repeal the state’s A-F school grading system. Her other proposal, opposing the expansion of the voucher program, may be a tough battle for her office to fight at the Statehouse.

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