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Daniels, Pence discuss newly elected Ritz’s role in Indiana education


Newly-elected Superintendent of Public Instruction for the state of Indiana Glenda Ritz addresses attendees of the Democratic watch party Tuesday in downtown Indianapolis. Chet Strange Buy Photos

Pence said he hopes newly elected Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz, a democrat, will participate in that endeavor.

Ritz stole a surprise victory from current Superintendent Tony Bennett in Tuesday’s election. Though Bennett achieved several reforms during his term working with a Republican general assembly, many Indiana voters expressed their concerns that his policies relied too heavily upon faulty standardized tests. Ritz campaigned with promises of repairing what she identified as damage done by Bennett’s policies.

During the press conference, Daniels countered that any divergent policy would be struck down, though.

“Not one word of those laws is going to change,” Daniels said. “Unless it’s extending further in the direction of reform.”

Ritz has criticized Bennett for establishing a culture of blaming teachers and said she intends to change that.

Pence joined Daniels’ assertion, both making clear that the “direction” mentioned will be the same direction as the past four years.

“I want to hear out the concerns that educators have,” Pence said. “But I bring in a heavy bias that there’s nothing that ails education that can’t be fixed by giving parents more choices and teachers more freedom to teach.”

Pence said because his wife is a teacher, he has educators’ interests in mind, but they are not foremost.

“We’re going to focus on the kids,” Pence said.

— Gage Bentley

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