Education, From The Capitol To The Classroom

StateImpact's Moderating The Debate Between Bennett & Ritz — And We Want Your Questions

    Kyle Stokes / StateImpact Indiana

    Republican state superintendent Tony Bennett (left) and Democratic challenger Glenda Ritz will debate on live radio this Friday evening in Fort Wayne — and StateImpact is asking the questions.

    You may remember the candidates for Superintendent of Public Instruction are planning to to debate on live radio this Friday evening, a week-and-a-half before voters select which will hold Indiana’s top elected education post for the next four years.

    I am honored and humbled to announce the debate’s organizers — Northeast Indiana Public Radio and The Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics — have chosen me to moderate that debate. I couldn’t be more thrilled.

    So I put it to you, my trusted StateImpact audience: What should I ask the candidates? We’re opening up our comments section to your suggestions and submissions.

    Of course, representatives of Northeast Indiana Public Radio, The Mike Downs Center and I will all have the final say on which questions we ask Republican incumbent Tony Bennett and Democratic opponent Glenda Ritz.

    We may use submitted questions verbatim, or we may use the spirit of your comments to inform us in crafting our own questions.

    A word about format: There will be roughly 10 questions designed to elicit longer-form responses and rebuttals from each candidate. As the hour-long debate wraps up, there will be roughly 10 more short-answer questions directed to each individual candidate in a “Rapid Fire” round. Finally, each candidate will be allowed to deliver a closing statement.

    There will be no studio audience for the debate, but NIPR will stream the debate live on its website,, on Friday night at 7 p.m. Eastern.

    Let me know in the comments section below, on our Facebook page or on Twitter (use the hashtag #EdDebate).

    • What specific questions should I ask Bennett and Ritz? What questions haven’t you heard answered that we can clear up in this debate?
    • What type of questions should I ask them — questions about specific policies? About broader visions for statewide policy?

    I eagerly await your responses — and I’ll ‘see’ you on the radio on Friday!



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