Ritz Storms Out; Education Debate Continues

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The State Board of Education signed off on a new plan for grading Indiana schools before the meeting descended into chaos when the state’s top education official stormed out.

Democratic Superintendent Glenda Ritz abruptly left Wednesday’s meeting when an appointee by Gov. Mike Pence tried to transfer certain student assessment powers from her office to another department.

Indiana’s “A through F” school grading formula was investigated after an Associated Press report showed Ritz’s predecessor, Tony Bennett, changed the rules last year to raise the grade of a political donor’s charter school from a “C” to an “A.”

The board voted 9-1 to approve new school grade categories and broadly accept the recommendations of a bipartisan panel. The details of how those grades are determined will be set throughout next year.