The most important education vote yesterday occurred in Indiana.
As the Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette pointed out in its editorial, this election has national implications.
Tony Bennett had become the face of rightwing reform in America.
His mission was to bring the ALEC agenda to life in the Hoosier State.
He was head of Jeb Bush’s Chiefs for Change, the group of state superintendents that were most eager to privatize public education, expand charters and vouchers, turn children over to for-profit corporations, and reduce the status of teachers.
He was honored by the conservative Thomas B. Fordham Institute as the “reformiest” state superintendent in the nation.
The Wall Street hedge fund managers and assorted billionaires pumped $1.5 million into his campaign for re-election.
He was soundly defeated by veteran teacher Glenda Ritz.
Ritz raised $325,000 for her campaign to restore public education in Indiana.
Ritz won over Bennett by a comfortable margin of 53-47.
She got 1.3 million votes, almost 100,000 more votes than Mike Pence, the Republican running for governor, who barely eked out a victory.
Make no mistake: The people of Indiana said “no” to Tony Bennett’s radical plans to turn public education into a free-market of choice and competition, based on high-stakes testing.
The people of Indiana elected Glenda Ritz to rebuild their public school system and to wipe away the misguided, mean-spirited “reforms” imposed by Bennett.
This is a victory for the parents, citizens and educators of Indiana.
Most important, it is a victory for the children of the state of Indiana.
Now, they will have a chance to have a good education, not to be consumers in a vast shopping mall of test-based choices, not to be data points for corporations bent on turning a profit.