Ritz Defeats Bennett to Become New State Superintendent
(WIBC.com file photo: Ray Steele)
Glenda Ritz didn't let having far less money than a Republican incumbent in stand in the way of her goal to become the state's school superintendent.
The Democrat and veteran educator pulled what many consider the biggest upset of Election Night in Indiana, knocking off state superintendent Tony Bennett. Though Bennett could tout a higher high school graduation rate and higher standardized test scores during his term, Ritz rallied teacher's union members who stood in lock step against many of Bennett's reforms, helping her to the victory.
During her victory speech, Ritz said that Indiana would no longer stand for what she calls the "privitization" of the state's schools, meaning the effort to reform some failing school systems by hiring private companies to take them over for a few years. She says she will pursue "an educational agenda, not a political agenda."
Bennett said he told his staff when he was first elected that the reforms they were pursuing may cost him his job after one term. He says regardless of the election, he believes history will see his term as a good four years for Indiana's schools and students.