Education, From The Capitol To The Classroom

Bennett, Ritz Will Debate On Live Radio On Oct. 26

Photos by Kyle Stokes / StateImpact Indiana

State superintendent candidate Glenda Ritz and incumbent Tony Bennett.

For the second time in a week, the candidates for Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction will be in the same place to talk education policy — this time, for a debate on live radio.

Tony Bennett and Glenda Ritz will debate in the studios of Northeast Indiana Public Radio in Fort Wayne on October 26 from 7-8 p.m. There will be no studio audience. 

The campaigns, NIPR and IPFW’s Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics scheduled the debate to occur two days after Bennett and Ritz both appear in a candidate forum in Crawfordsville.

The organizers of the Fort Wayne radio debate have yet to select a moderator.

The debate should provide a clear contrast between the two candidates as both are practically diametrically opposed on almost every key issue — A-F grading, school choice, standardized testing and teacher evaluations.

Tickets for the Crawfordsville forum featuring Bennett, the Republican, and Ritz, the Democrat, were picked up “in record time,” according to the League of Women Voters website. But video will be streamed online from the Ball Theater at Wabash College on October 24 at 5:30 p.m.


  • Sue

    First of all, the photos are not equally flattering so I would imagine whomever posted this is a Bennett proponent. Secondly, it would be interesting to ask teachers and administrators to offer up issues or questions since it is their lives ( then eventually students and parents) that will be directly affected by the results of this election.

    • kystokes

      Subpar photographers, we are. Proponents of either Bennett or Ritz, we are not. Thanks for the comment, though.

      • Clyde Gaw

        I would concur with Sue. What is preventing the authors of this article to provide viewers with a photo of a smiling Glenda Ritz? You have used two photo’s of Ms. Ritz that are dissimilar to Bennett’s facial expression and are downright awkward at best. Come on! Do you think we can’t sniff out your attempt at visually portraying Ms. Ritz in unflattering terms?

        • kystokes

          I see what you’re saying. You weren’t talking about the photos at the top of the post, you were talking about the topics pages.

          Clyde, I take bias charges seriously and personally. I really can’t stress enough that we get *nothing* out of being partisan or partial in this race. That would hurt us and our credibility.

          Simply told: We built Tony Bennett’s topics page 18 months ago — before the campaign — and when we built Glenda Ritz’s topics page, that was the only photo we had available. We’ve been focused on our election content. What you’re “sniffing” is an innocent oversight.

          • DReed

            I would be happy to forward other photos for your use to upload. Is there an email address where they can be sent?

          • kystokes

            Hi @DReed , that’s kind of you. But I think the issue at present isn’t a lack of photos of the candidates. The issue that I think I can agree with Sue and Clyde about is that the photos used in the Bennett and Ritz topics pages (the ones that appear at the top of the page under “Essential Reading” and on many posts) weren’t equal before. Bennett’s was an (old) staged portrait while Ritz’s photo was one we took at a campaign event. They’re right — that’s not fair. But as I said above, there was nothing deliberate in this on StateImpact’s part. Sometimes when you’re building a plane while you’re flying it, you just don’t step back to look how it sees to the outside.

            But if Sue and Clyde’s concerns are about “awkward” faces hinting at bias, I simply think that’s an unfair standard. News photography is candid photography. News photographers are trying to capture real moments. In general, photographers do their best to make sure subjects aren’t blinking or obscured. Like most news photographers, we crop the images to fit the page’s size requirements and adjust the image’s color balance. And while sometimes we don’t get the images where they need to go — like on the Essential Reading pages — I believe we have treated Glenda Ritz and Tony Bennett, visually and in our audio and written content, equally and fairly.

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