State Board of Education Moving Forward Despite Tension

Dec 4, 2013

Members of Indiana’s Board of Education say they’re making progress on the state’s education goals despite ongoing tension between state superintendent Glenda Ritz and the 10 other board members. The board met Tuesday to outline some of those goals.

Indiana State Board of Education Secretary Dan Elsener.

Superintendent Ritz walked out of a state board meeting three weeks ago. Today’s session was much calmer as members talked about the goals they want to take to education stakeholders for review next year.

Ritz says she wants to bring in National Board Certified teachers — and she’s open to suggestions from other board members.

“I was excited actually, about the list of stakeholders, and added a few to it,” Ritz said. “I just want to be sure the entire education community gets involved.”

State Board Secretary Dan Elsener is leading the strategic planning process. He says the meeting was a welcome change from the recent tenor of board meetings.

“It’s so refreshing to be with board members talking about real issues,” Elsener said. “People stomping away from meetings seems like a sideshow to me. We were talking at the heart today. What are we about in education, and what can we do together? Great.”

But it’s unclear if the goodwill can continue. The State Board is scheduled to meet Wednesday in what Ritz is calling an “orientation” session, but they won’t be able to take any action because a meeting notice wasn’t posted 48 hours in advance.

Elsener says the rest of the board is disappointed the superintendent didn’t call a regular business meeting.