Hooiser Survey finds Glenda Ritz is little known

November 13th, 2013 at 10:13 am by under Jim Shella's Political Blog

The WISH-TV/Ball State Hoosier Survey finds that Glenda Ritz is still an unknown to most of the people in Indiana.

It was the Election night surprise of 2012.  Democrat Glenda Ritz was elected Superintendent of Public Instruction in an upset.

Republican Tony Bennett tried to push through too many reforms too fast.

Ritz started out trying to make friends with Bennett supporters who include Governor Mike Pence.  “We actually get along very well,” said Ritz after a meeting in January.

But Ritz campaigned as an opponent of Common Core standards and the exclusive WISH-TV/Ball State Hoosier Survey shows that, in fact, the public is in favor of them.  53% believe the Common Core will improve schools.

12% disagree while 31% believes there won’t be much of an effect.

And now Ritz is doing battle with the State Board of Education over ways to handle A-to-F school grading.  She even filed an unsuccessful lawsuit.

Meantime, the Hoosier Survey finds a majority,51%, is satisfied with the A-to-F grading system.

35% would prefer another method of accountability and 15% have no opinion.

Yet the findings tell us little about how the public perceives Ritz.  Her approval rating is just 16%, though only 7% disapprove.

That’s because a whopping 77% don’t know enough about Glenda Ritz to form an opinion.

“What we’re looking at here,” said Ball State political scientist Ray Scheele, “is that she is writing her own book here about where she wants to take education and it could be a rocky road.”

“And so she’s defining herself, said Ball State political scientist Joe Losco, “in these next critical months.”

Meantime, a new education reform that is gaining traction is being pushed by another Democrat, state Senator Tim Lanane.  It would lower the mandatory school age from 7 to 5 and the Hoosier Survey finds strong support for it.

59% are in favor, 35% opposed.

“There are already community efforts really throughout this state,” said Sen. Lanane, “embracing this idea of early childhood education.”

All the while Ritz is doing battle even with fellow Democratic state board member Gordon Hendry.  “The rules should be followed.” said Hendry at last week’s meeting.  Ritz responded by saying, “And I’ll consider your request.”

Opinions of the state Superintendent are now being formed.

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