State Superintendent Candidates Debate Education Issues
Dr. Tony Bennett (R) and Glenda Ritz (D) (file photos)
The candidates for State Superintendent of Public Instruction met to debate education issues Friday night.
The debate was civil with the candidates getting opportunities to ask each other questions about the issues. A major point of contention was the ISTEP test and Democratic candidate Glenda Ritz said teachers are teaching to the test when their focus should be elsewhere. Ritz said preparing for ISTEP takes valuable time away from in-depth learning with a relevant curriculum. Republican candidate Tony Bennett said teachers are teaching to standards, not to tests and that assessments are a necessary component of instruction.
Another standardized test, the IREAD3, was also brought up and both candidates agreed that students should know where their reading levels are in elementary school. However, Bennett said the test was a good way to measure that level. Ritz said reading programs that she said have true growth assessments should be put in place so students and parents not only know where their reading level is, but what needs to be done to improve it, if necessary.
Friday's debate was the second of two debates before the November 6 election.