This news article explains the background of State Superintendent Glenda Ritz’s lawsuit against Mike Pence, Governor of Indiana.

The state board–whose members were appointed by former Governor Mitch Daniels and his successor Mike Pence–moved to strip control of the state’s controversial A-F grading system from the office of State Superintendent Ritz and turn it over to the Republican-controlled legislature. The decision was made, Ritz says, in her absence (she is chair of the state board) and in violation of the state’s Open Meetings Law.

Since Ritz’s surprise upset of former State Superintendent Tony Bennett last November, Governor Pence has acted repeatedly to dilute or remove any powers from the State Superintendent. Bennett moved on to become State Superintendent in Florida, where he resigned shortly after the story broke that he had manipulated the A-F grading system to protect the charter school of a campaign contributor.

The A-F grading system is of dubious value, as are all such simplistic grading systems, which reduce the performance of complex institutions to a single letter grade. It sets schools up for failure and closure, and the metrics behind the grades are nearly incomprehensible. A recent study by scholars in Oklahoma criticized that state’s A-F grading system as opaque, incoherent, and confusing.