Lebanon Reporter

State News

October 23, 2013

Ritz sues over shift in school grade calculation

(Continued)

Ritz, who serves as chairwoman of the education board, said the members “over-stepped their bounds” and ignored state law requiring public notice for the meeting in which the letter was drafted.

“I do not take this action lightly, but my obligations as elected state superintendent require it,” she said in a statement.

Christy Denault, a spokeswoman for Pence, said the governor supported the state board’s actions and is “confident that all relevant Indiana laws were followed.”

Republican leaders have been frustrated with the slow release of the grades. The rankings are based largely on ISTEP+ scores, which were delayed after computer issues knocked thousands of students offline during the test this spring.

Ritz spokesman David Galvin says the review of the Bennett grade-change scandal further pushed the timeline for releasing grades to November.

The Department of Education says no data will be available to share with the Legislative Services Agency until Nov. 5, the deadline for rescoring disputed tests.

Bosma and Long told The Journal Gazette on Monday that preliminary rankings could be calculated and then tweaked after the rescores are decided. Long said teacher evaluations and raises are being held up because of the delay.

State Board of Education member Cari Whicker said she doesn’t want to strip Ritz of her authority to run the calculations.

“The big concern is we are statutorily obligated to give out A-F grades, so we feel this sense of responsibility,” Whicker said.

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