Pharos-Tribune

Opinion

November 21, 2012

OUR VIEW: Ritz should at least be heard

The issue: Legislative leaders now say they are willing to talk about the way in which education reforms have been put into place.

Our view: Glenda Ritz, the woman who upset the state’s incumbent schools chief, deserves a seat at the table.

House Speaker Brian Bosma and Senate President Pro Tem David Long say they’re open to discussion about the way some of the sweeping reforms to public education have been put into practice. That’s a welcome change from what the two were saying immediately after the election.

Both repeated their earlier pledges not to roll back the reforms already locked into law, but they opened the door for more discussion in light of Democrat Glenda Ritz’s upset of incumbent Republican Tony Bennett as superintendent of public instruction.

Immediately after the election, both Bosma and Long had suggested that Ritz’s election would make little difference. They noted that the same voters who had elected Ritz had also bolstered the Republican majority in the Indiana General Assembly, sending back the same lawmakers who had pushed through the reforms some Ritz supporters were unhappy about.

Neither Bosma nor Long backed off his support for laws that created vouchers for private schools, tied teacher pay to student test scores and expanded high-stakes testing for students, but both did offer a more conciliatory tone.

Long described teachers as heroic. He said they needed to be paid more for the work they do, and he agreed with Bosma that teachers were feeling demoralized in the wake of the reforms.

“I’m not in any way pulling back my support for any of the education reforms, …” Long added. “But they will evolve and everyone at the table will participate.”

That’s really all we can ask, that legislators keep an open mind about the criticism leveled against some of the reforms and that they listen to those who helped to engineer Ritz’s surprising victory.

Business as usual is clearly not what the voters who elected Ritz were hoping for.

They might not expect the reforms to be rejected entirely, but they do at least want Indiana’s leaders to take their feet off the gas. It’s time to slow down and take stock of what’s working and what’s not.

It is true perhaps that voters sent a mixed message by electing Ritz while putting Republicans in charge of the rest of state government. The fact is, though, that only Ritz was elected strictly on the basis of her positions on education. Her supporters have a right to have their voices heard. If the election just ended is any indication, lawmakers will ignore those voices at their own peril.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • THEIR VIEW: Lawmakers fail to act on the issue After several years of fretting over Indiana's ongoing methamphetamine problem, the Indiana General Assembly continues to struggle for a solution. The issue seems to come up every session, given that Indiana leader the nation in meth lab seizures. Bu

    April 17, 2014

  • WILLIAMS: Feelings of the flowers I took one of those fun tests on Facebook to see what kind of flower I am and lo and behold, it said I was an orchid! That is so wrong because I have always thought I was the exact opposite of an orchid. I'd characterize myself as a daisy. You know,

    April 17, 2014

  • HAMILTON: Government as innovator? You bet! Five years ago, the federal government spent $169 billion to fund basic research and development. This fiscal year, it's down to $134 billion. People who believe in public belt-tightening applaud drops like that. I understand why: there are many reas

    April 17, 2014

  • PARKER: It's time to take a joke, America In selecting Stephen Colbert to replace David Letterman as host of the "Late Show," CBS has waged war on America's Heartland -- or so proclaims that Palm Beach font of heartland mirth, Rush Limbaugh. Don't you believe it, Heartlanders. But wait, ther

    April 16, 2014

  • THEIR VIEW: Constitutional convention won't work today There seems to be a growing idea that we need a Constitutional convention. That, of course, is the other way to change the Constitution. Amendments have been used 27 times to make changes, ranging from limiting the president's term of office to the d

    April 16, 2014

  • KITCHELL: Forum about adding answers, subtracting questions A week from tonight, Logansport residents and those outside Logansport who purchase electricity from the Logansport Municipal Utilities will have a chance to find out some things for themselves. A free forum at McHale Performing Arts Center will feat

    April 16, 2014

  • PUBLIC FORUM: The people are losing control of its government The people are losing control of government President Obama and progressive Democrats and Republicans are changing the landscape of our country by bypassing our Constitution and what our forefathers fought and gave their lives for. Their philosophy c

    April 16, 2014

  • THEIR VIEW: Health care fraud can't go unchecked National health care spending tops $2.7 trillion annually. That leaves a lot of room, and temptation, for abuse of a bureaucracy that administers medical services. Medicare and Medicaid scams may cost taxpayers more than $98 billion each year. Health

    April 15, 2014

  • MARCUS: Truth is often unwelcome Jim Feelwright greeted me warmly as I entered the room: “Well, here he is, Mr. Negative.” Since it was a friendly meeting, I borrowed a famous line from the movies: “You can’t handle the truth.” “You,” he said, “just don’t want to see what’s really h

    April 15, 2014

  • VILLAGE IDIOT: Signs of spring finally upon us Today I saw my first crocus popping up after the long winter. It was in a picture a friend posted on Facebook. Suddenly, it seemed everyone was posting pictures of buds on trees, robins on the lawn, green shoots coming up in the garden. It was almost

    April 15, 2014

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

Should e-cigarette marketing be regulated like tobacco?

Yes
No
Unsure
     View Results
Featured Ads
AP Video
Obama Hopeful on Ukraine, Will Watch Russians Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction Crew Criticized Over Handling of Ferry Disaster Agreement Reached to Calm Ukraine Tensions Raw: Pope Francis Performs Pre-easter Ritual Raw: Bulgarian Monastery Dyes 5000 Easter Eggs Diplomats Reach Deal to Ease Tensions in Ukraine U.S. Sending Nonlethal Aid to Ukraine Military Holder: Americans Stand With KC Mourners Obama Greets Wounded Warriors Malaysia Plane: Ocean Floor Images 'Very Clear' Sparks Fly With Derulo and Jordin on New Album Franco Leads Star-studded Broadway Cast Raw: Two Lucky Kids Get Ride in Popemobile Boston Bombing Survivors One Year Later Sister of Slain MIT Officer Reflects on Bombing
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.