Schools to get 2012-13 grades Friday -- maybe

2013-12-19T11:07:00Z 2013-12-19T18:47:11Z Schools to get 2012-13 grades Friday -- maybeBy Dan Carden dan.carden@nwi.com, (317) 637-9078 nwitimes.com
December 19, 2013 11:07 am  • 

INDIANAPOLIS | The State Board of Education is scheduled to issue grades to Indiana schools Friday reflecting student and teacher performance during the 2012-13 school year.

However, as Hoosiers repeatedly have witnessed since Republican Gov. Mike Pence took office in January, just about anything can happen when his 10 appointed board members convene under the direction of board chairwoman Glenda Ritz, the elected Democratic state superintendent of public instruction.

There's good reason to suspect Friday's meeting could end with another abrupt adjournment or eventual lawsuit and no grades being assigned. That's because prior to approving school grades, the board is set to debate its meeting procedures.

These have been the primary source of conflict between Ritz and board members who claim Ritz is not following the procedures she and Pence approved in May.

Some board members also believe the rules should be rewritten to give more authority to board staffers working for the Center for Education and Career Innovation, a new state agency Pence created in August.

Ritz contends Pence established CECI as a shadow to her Department of Education, and the board is actively working with the governor to seize the administration of Indiana's schools from her.

That process could take its next step forward Friday if board members vote to eliminate Ritz's existing powers as chairwoman, which include presiding over meetings and control of the meeting agenda.

Under Indiana law, the superintendent is chairwoman of the board, but her powers are not defined.

Ritz quickly adjourned the board's November meeting when board members appeared ready to make her role mostly symbolic.

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