Education, From The Capitol To The Classroom

Got A Question For Glenda Ritz? Ask Her Yourself This Wednesday

Kyle Stokes / StateImpact Indiana

Democratic state superintendent candidate Glenda Ritz, a Washington Township teacher and union activist.

What question would you pose to Glenda Ritz?

You’ll get the chance to ask it this week. Barely six weeks into her tenure as state superintendent, Ritz will take questions from audience members at a public forum to kick off WFYI’s Conversations About Education series.

StateImpact is proud to partner with WFYI in presenting the first of these three events. I’ll be moderating the discussion with Ritz at the Indianapolis Central Library this Wednesday, March 6, at 6 p.m.

Kyle Stokes / StateImpact Indiana

The Indianapolis Central Library — seen here during a City-County Council committee meeting — will play host to our conversation with state superintendent Glenda Ritz on Wednesday, March 6. WFYI is putting on the event as part of their Conversations About Education series.

If you can make it to downtown Indy, I’d love to hear your questions Wednesday night.

If you cannot make it to downtown Indy, scroll down to the comments section below — as you did when we moderated the debate between Ritz and then-state superintendent Tony Bennett — and submit what questions you have for Indiana’s top elected education official.

As we did with the debate, I’ll either ask Ritz the best questions or use your comments to help shape the discussion.

Hope to see you Wednesday night!

(More on the next two Conversations About Education here and here.)


  • a grandma

    Why does the federal government have the right to tell our schools they have to raise meal prices? Some schools can serve good food for less because we are willing to try.

    Maybe we should have school gardens. Have some fresh produce and show the children you can raise vegetables in patio pots and even on balcony rails if you don’t have a place for a garden.

  • A music educator

    Schools all across Indiana are either significantly curbing Related Arts education, or completely eliminating it from their curriculums to accommodate the ISTEP test which unfairly puts significance on a very narrow view of subjects. What is your office going to do to ensure that business, technology, music, physical education, art, and a host of other classes remain in the curriculum of *every* school in Indiana. Classes that are vital for preparing students for college, the workforce, and *life*.

  • Kevin

    Most teachers are aware that ISTEP is a norm-referenced test, meaning there will always be failures. There will be 25% below the passing mark and about 25% in the Pass Plus and the rest in the middle. Most teachers are aware of the impact poverty has on student learning, especially those of us who teach in communities with a low socio-economic status. In terms of the A-F system and ISTEP, it seems that of the 125 schools that had an F, 120 of those schools were from schools with at least 50% free and reduced lunch or maybe it was 75%. (I’ve been following all of this closely but I don’t have enough time to keep adequate notes about how legislators are ruining my chosen profession.) We all know poverty adversely impacts student learning. We do not make excuses, rather we accept kids where they are as they enter our building and push them as far as we can. We try really, really hard.

    I find it hard to believe that legislators who claim they want to look out for the best interests of teachers and students in our state can ignore the reality of poverty and the impact it has on education. They do ignore it and they are ignoring it and they should feel embarrassed. We know Jeb Bush ignores this important facet directly related to education and he is a driving force for privatization.

    One question I have is do any members of the House or Senate know about correlations between standardized test performance and living in poverty?

    Among teachers it’s a known fact that the applied skills portion of ISTEP is at the mercy of temporary, part-time employees to grade the responses correctly. We also know mistakes are made grading these exams every year. It’s frustrating when a school goes from a B to an F in one year and are dragged through media’s mud puddle, yet these people grading our exams make blatant errors negatively impacting our school’s score have no repercussions. It’s a sick joke.

    What will be done about grading these exams so they are done correctly? When exams are sent back to re-scored, the mistakes are never corrected.

  • Kevin

    How can we listen to the forum?

  • Kevin

    When will the State Supreme Court make a verdict about public tax money going to private school vouchers which are primarily used for religious schools?

  • marion reesor

    How do folks define ‘public tax money” ? Which of us… paying taxes… does not belong to ‘Public tax money” I don’t understand the dichotomy. Who owns ‘Public tax money”
    Marion Reesor

  • Tricia Stoltzfus

    Ms Ritz, Thank you for what you do for public education, but can you explain why educators discriminate against religious based schools when many of the founders of the country believed that ‘religion and morality’ were indispensible supports?

  • Public Education Advocate

    Could you please state clearly your position on Common Core Standards and the scheduled implementation, across the State of Indiana, with the current timetable of the 2014/2015 school year? Specifically, do you support the timetable and the consensus your State Board of Education reached, based in part on nationwide data and feedback which persuaded 45 other states to adopt Common Core? Or, do you support additional hearings which would likely delay the process in the State of Indiana? If you support additional hearings, what is your justification for that position and whose best interest does that stance represent?

  • Mary Jo Moldraski Bookwalter

    Right now the DOE places teachers into 3 different categories. Teachers in grades 4, 5, and 6 (Category 1) carry a much higher burden on their evaluations due to teaching an ISTEP grade level. A percentage of their evaluation is based on the IGM, as well as SLOs and the A-F grade for their school. Teachers in category 3 carry no burden with the growth model data from ISTEP. These teachers ( for example Art, PE, Music) create a test, administer the test, grade the test and report their data. These tests are not normed and to not carry the same validity and reliability since they are not standardized and there is no testing protocol. The fact that teachers in category 1 are held to a much higher standard is unequal protection. How will this be remedied so that all teachers are treated equally in the evaluation process?

  • jami beckham

    How do you feel about public school teachers expressing their personal opposition to vouchers, charter schools and/or school choice legislation to students in their classrooms during regular school hours?

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