Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Opinion

September 12, 2013

Sept. 12, 2013: Letters to the editor

State superintendent shown only contempt

I have received information concerning the latest State Board of Education meeting, as well as the governor’s recent announcement, that leaves me greatly disappointed and perplexed.

I am vehemently opposed to the continued and consistent ongoing disregard and overt contempt displayed by the State Board of Education toward our duly elected superintendent of public instruction, Ms. Glenda Ritz. Additionally, I could not be more opposed to what appears to be the Pence administration’s effort to purposefully marginalize the superintendent by dishonoring and disregarding the voice of Hoosier voters.

Voters elected Superintendent Ritz, as they obviously disagreed with Superintendent Bennett (he had the huge war chest, a well-oiled political machine, as well as all the name recognition both statewide and nationally) and his “my way or the highway” philosophy. Now Gov. Pence has appointed a committee as well as a chairman to, in essence, marginalize Superintendent Ritz and dishonor the voice of the voter and continue exactly that which was so soundly defeated in the election.

Is Indiana intending to follow the federal example of having two governments; one duly elected or appointed and approved by Congress and another hand-picked by the president? This creation of a shadow government is just as wrong here as it is in Washington. Considering the governor appears to be creating this structure to bypass working within a system created by the Indiana Constitution and supported by voters is particularly repugnant and should be stopped.

Following the notes from the previous three meetings of the State Board of Education, apparently the Pence administration is less than willing to work within guidelines established by the voters. The governor seems to be doing everything possible to continue with the Bennett doctrine (he has publicly endorsed an A-F system that has proven unreliable when even the favored plum schools get a C) and eliminate Superintendent Ritz from exercising any effectiveness (except that of figurehead) by shoving her to the side.

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