Dem teacher eager to take on Republican state superintendent

2012-06-14T18:48:00Z 2012-06-15T09:25:06Z Dem teacher eager to take on Republican state superintendentBy Dan Carden, (317) 637-9078

INDIANAPOLIS | An Indianapolis teacher who says she's fed up with the top-down education reforms of state Superintendent Tony Bennett will challenge the Republican schools chief in the November general election.

Glenda Ritz, 57, announced Thursday she will seek the Democratic nomination for state superintendent at the the party's convention Saturday. She is expected to be unopposed.

The 33-year elementary school teacher said Bennett has ignored teachers, principals and taxpayers in implementing a school grading program and other reforms designed to make Hoosiers believe their public schools are failing.

"Hoosier schools are best when parents and communities partner to support learning," Ritz said. "Over the past four years, the strength of that partnership has been challenged by Tony Bennett's teach-to-the-test educational philosophy."

Declaring "our students are more than test scores," Ritz said if elected she will encourage "learning for learning's sake," promote local control over state dictates and set high standards for teacher professionalism.

"We will stop Tony Bennett's policies of unfunded state government mandates that force schools to implement practices that we know are not good for learning and teaching," Ritz said.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate John Gregg said electing Ritz superintendent will mean teachers are listened to at the Statehouse.

"The day of demonizing, disrespecting and discrediting teachers is over," Gregg said.

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