Glenda Ritz, the new State Superintendent of Public Instruction in Indiana, thrashed reform idol Tony Bennett last November. She received more votes than anyone else on the ballot except the Attorney General (she ran ahead of the governor).
Tony Bennett, who famously supports free-market solutions to education problems, is an advocate for charters and vouchers, for evaluating teachers by test scores, and for for-profit online corporations and charters. Tony Bennett is one of the nation’s loudest supporters of the Common Core.
Ritz is a Democrat; Bennett is a Republican.
Ritz was supported by a curious coalition: by parents and educators who disliked Bennett’s privatizing policies and his punitive treatment of teachers. She was also supported by Tea Party enthusiasts who dislike national standards and saw the Common Core as an effort by the federal government to impose national standards and tests.
Some Republican legislators in Indiana want to withdraw the state’s support for Common Core. Now they will have a state superintendent who agrees with them.
The politics of the Common Core are interesting indeed. And they will become even more interesting in the next few years as states are required to come up with the money for implementation, new technology, new materials, and professional development.