Indiana State Board of Education

Governor Mike Pence announced Friday that he’s asked a national group to facilitate a discussion “within the State Board of Education,” hoping to de-escalate the tensions among Indiana’s top education policymakers.  Pence’s announcement comes two days after State Superintendent Glenda Ritz abruptly adjourned a meeting of the State Board without a vote.

Rift between Ritz, SBOE widens

Nov 14, 2013

State superintendent Glenda Ritz abruptly ended a meeting of the State Board of Education without a vote Wednesday, but board members refused to leave.  The tense situation is part of a power struggle between Ritz and the State Board for control of the state’s education agenda.

Directly at issue was a motion State Board member Brad Oliver offered during Wednesday’s meeting.  He wanted to authorize staff for Governor Mike Pence’s newly-created education agency, which oversees the State Board, to take a formal role in reviewing the state’s academic standards. 

Ritz's lawsuit against SBOE thrown out

Nov 8, 2013

A Marion County judge has dismissed Indiana’s top school official’s lawsuit against the members of the State Board of Education.  Judge Louis Rosenberg ruled Friday afternoon that state superintendent Glenda Ritz wasn’t authorized to file it in the first place.

Ritz was chairing a meeting of the State Board at the moment Rosenberg handed down his decision.  His ruling didn’t touch on the merits of Ritz’s case against the Board — she charged they had violated state open meetings law.

Ritz files lawsuit against SBOE action

Oct 23, 2013

State superintendent Glenda Ritz has raised the stakes of her showdown with Indiana’s top education panel, naming all ten members of the State Board of Education as defendants in a lawsuit she filed Tuesday in Marion County Circuit Court.

At issue is the calculation of A-F school letter grades, which Superintendent Glenda Ritz’s office would typically handle. But State Board of Education members sent a letter last week asking the Indiana General Assembly to intervene.

A-F grades for won't change for seven schools

Oct 3, 2013

Seven schools caught up in an investigation of Indiana’s A-F accountability system will keep the letter grades they got in 2011-12.

An independent review released last month concluded the changes former state superintendent Tony Bennett’s staff made to most schools’ letter grades were “plausible.” But there were still a handful of schools the Department of Education flagged because they had not received their grades in accordance with rule.

IN school letter grades delayed

Aug 8, 2013

Indiana education officials will not issue letter grade ratings for schools this year until they complete a probe of how last year’s grades were calculated.  State Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz says the investigation of her predecessor’s administration could cause “great delays” in the release of the A-through-F ratings.

Department of Education officials have opened an internal inquiry into how former state superintendent Tony Bennett tweaked the state’s school grading formula, boosting a favorite Indianapolis charter school’s grade from a C to an A. 

A panel of state lawmakers tasked with reviewing the Common Core opened a formal debate Monday over which set of academic standards Indiana will use next. Proponents of the new standards testified the Common Core will prepare more students for college and career, while opponents of the nationally-crafted standards told lawmakers it is less rigorous than the standards Indiana had before. 

State Superintendent Glenda Ritz says the ISTEP testing schedule has been extended three days after two straight days of statewide glitches this week. 

Both CTB/McGraw Hill, the testing company, and Superintendent Glenda Ritz report no problems with online ISTEP exams Wednesday. Tens of thousands of students Monday and Tuesday couldn’t complete their tests due to technical problems.  Under guidance from Ritz, schools reduced their testing load to 50%, so if a school had scheduled two grades to take the exams, only one would.

Indiana lawmakers want to throw out the state’s current A to F school accountability system and direct the State Board of Education to develop a new one. 

Members of both parties are uniting behind a single message – the current school accountability system doesn’t make sense.  But some are split on what the new system should look like. 

Senator Jim Banks (R-Columbia City) says, while the current system is impossible to understand and explain, he wants to retain the A to F framework.