The election on November 8 turned out exactly the way it was expected to in Indiana. The Republicans won majority in the house and they kept control of the governor’s office. The one bright spot for the Democrats was supposed to be Glenda Ritz and her ability to remain as Indiana State Superintendent. It was just four short years ago when Glenda Ritz a political newcomer and virtual unknown outside of Indianapolis capitalized and pulled off one of the most improbable upsets in Indiana election history when she unseated Republican and Incumbent Tony Bennett. Now it was Ritz this year on the other side of history when political newcomer and Republican challenger Jennifer McCormick added to the Republican domination in the election when she upset Glenda Ritz to become Indiana State Superintendent. The McCormick win cemented a GOP sweep in the statewide offices.
McCormick stated in her victory speech that she was committed to repairing relationships that she believed Glenda Ritz ignored and destroyed during her time as State Superintendent. McCormick also challenged Hoosier educators and families to continue to be apart of the conversation and make their voice heard at the state house.
Ritz and McCormick did not differ on many issues. They practically agreed on many of the major issues that seem to face Indiana schools, teachers, and students. McCormick used the same platform that seemed to work for Ritz four years ago by saying that she would be a champion for teachers. McCormick is more of the traditional educational leader in that she served as a teacher, assistant principal, principal, and school superintendent. Ritz had the support of teachers, but McCormick had gained the support of many school leaders, who felt that Ritz had caused a communication breakdown between the Department of Education and schools.
Now that Jennifer McCormick is our new State School Superintendent I hope that she has a focus on improving education in our state not just from a school perspective, but also in improve the quality of teachers in our state. Glenda Ritz did a great deed in creating the Blue Ribbon Commission that focused on teacher recruitment. I would really like to see that continue. We need to be sure to keep teacher recruitment and retention in the forefront of the educational conversation.