Several political observers in Indiana have raised the possibility that the state could become caught up in a nasty confrontation over the direction of its educational system in the next four years.
The specter of division was speculated about in the wake of the surprising results in the race for state school superintendent in which a relatively unknown educator named Glenda Ritz defeated incumbent Tony Bennett. Ritz was the lone opposed Democrat to carry a majority in Jackson County on Election Day.
Ritz, an Indianapolis Democrat, had campaigned on a pledge to roll back many of the changes that had been instituted by Bennett over the past four years — a platform that was embraced by many Hoosier teachers and some school corporations.
Among the items that were especially irksome to educators were reforms that included expanding access to charter schools, limiting teachers’ collective bargaining and basing teacher pay raises on annual evaluations.
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