Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Opinion

September 10, 2013

Ritz must be heard

House Speaker Brian Bosma and Senate President Pro Tem David Long opened discussion about the way Indiana grades its public schools Friday. That’s a welcome change from what the two were saying after last November’s election.

Immediately after the votes came in, both Bosma and Long suggested the election of Glenda Ritz as state superintendent of public instruction would make little difference. They noted 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 eventually offered a more conciliatory tone.

After Ritz upset incumbent state superintendent Tony Bennett, 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 Bennett’s 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 — particularly the A-to-F school grading system — and that they listen to those who helped to engineer Ritz’s surprising victory.

Business-as-usual clearly is 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 slow down and take stock of what’s working and what’s not.

Only Ritz was elected strictly on the basis of her positions on education. Her supporters have a right to have their voices heard. Lawmakers will ignore those voices at their own peril.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • A great way to offer help The United Way of Howard County does so much for this community that it would be difficult, in this space, to describe even a fraction of the things United Way donations accomplish.Think what Kokomo and Howard County would lose if there were no Court

    July 25, 2014

  • MARK HEINIG JR.: Will Pence, Ritz and their playmates ever grow up? Many Hoosier Republicans are curious about Gov. Mike Pence’s future. He probably is, too. Assuming he doesn’t wish to return to Congress or retire from politics, he must decide whether to seek another term as governor of Indiana or run for president

    July 25, 2014

  • LETTERS: Mast homestead celebrates 150 years Mast homestead celebrates 150 yearsThe two-story frame, Pennsylvania-Dutch style house on the Larry and Barbara Hensler farm 2 miles west of Plevna is 150 years old this year. In fact it may even be a little older than that. Lloyd Hensler used to say

    July 25, 2014

  • LEE HAMILTON: Why congressional incumbents keep getting re-elected It’s no news that Congress is unpopular. In fact, at times it seems like the only real novelty on Capitol Hill would be a jump in its approval rating. In June, a Gallup poll found members’ standing with the American people at a historic low for a mid

    July 25, 2014

  • Road must be made safer Eight months ago, the Indiana Department of Transportation opened the new U.S. 31 bypass east of Kokomo. Joining Mayor Greg Goodnight was Gov. Mike Pence. Even the Kokomo High School marching band performed at the ribbon-cutting ceremony. It was the

    July 24, 2014

  • SEN. JIM BUCK: New laws offer help for kids Families with children who have special needs often face difficulties finding the best care or treatment for their specific circumstance. During the 2014 legislative session, the Indiana General Assembly passed several initiatives to assist these fam

    July 24, 2014

  • LETTERS: Christians must stand with Israel 'As Christians we must stand with life' The present conflict in Israel is with Hamas, recognized even in Egypt as a terrorist organization. Recently Hamas formed a unity government with the Palestinian Authority in Gaza. They're now the government in

    July 24, 2014

  • BILL STANCZYKIEWICZ: Youth sports leagues are on troubling decline An important youth development activity is looking to end a recent losing streak. Participation in organized youth sports leagues for baseball, football, basketball and soccer declined by 4 percent between 2008-2012, according to a report in the Wall

    July 24, 2014

  • Keep eye out for kids

    With most local schools welcoming students in a couple of weeks — and Kokomo schools beginning class Aug. 5 (yes, a week from this coming Tuesday) — it’s important for motorists to think about safe driving as children travel to and from school.Law en

    July 23, 2014

  • MAUREEN HAYDEN: Expiring term heightens urgency of legislator's mission State Rep. Rebecca Kubacki had plans for her return to the General Assembly next January.The two-term Republican from Kosciusko County wanted to exert “full force” to roll back a law that prevents the children of undocumented immigrants from paying i

    July 23, 2014

Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kerry: No Deal Yet on 7-Day Gaza Truce Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Cumberbatch Brings 'Penguins' to Comic-Con Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites
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.
Obituaries
Poll