Jonathan Streetman writes in The Herald Times, “Universal access to pre-kindergarten for all children in the state of Indiana is the highlight of Imagine 2020, a package of legislative goals to improve education in Indiana announced Tuesday by state Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz.”
Superintendent Ritz came to the Department of Education with the vision that reflected her 34 years of teaching:
Imagining the possibilities and making them happen
Imagining the possibilities in 2020
By focusing on an education agenda instead of a political agenda, Superintendent Ritz will:
- Make high quality Pre-K available in every school corporation in the state by utilizing a public/private coalition, leveraging federal dollars, reverting state allocations, and eliminating wasteful spending in the state’s budget
- Provide more time for learning and less time for testing by getting rid of the political measures, like the costly, high-stakes ISTEP exam and labeling our schools A-F
- Work towards achieving a 91% graduation rate for all students, the highest in the nation, training them to enter living wage careers or post-secondary education
- Propose fair and adequate funding for all public schools
- Treat our teachers like professionals, including them in the process to end the teacher shortage and increasing opportunities for professional development
You can learn more about the Imagine 2020 plan here.
Making it happen since 2013
Under Superintendent Ritz’s leadership, the Indiana Department of Education has:
- Transformed 193 low-performing schools into high-performing, affecting over 108,000 students. Her innovative Division of Outreach places coordinators alongside principals to break down barriers between the Department of Education and schools, getting them the resources they need to succeed. This program is now being modeled by other states
- Achieved a 95% graduation rate for CTE students, by providing more high-quality Career and Technical Education opportunities for over 200,000 students.
- Trained over 1700 new certified School Safety Specialists, and also created the IDOE Response Team to better assist schools during a large-scale crisis. The department’s School Safety Academy works with law enforcement and Homeland Security to train school personnel in all aspects of student safety, and it has been nationally recognized.
- Advocated for the end of the high stakes, pass/fail, costly ISTEP test, and is working to replace it with an individualized, student-centered assessment that provides families and educators with feedback about how a student is performing and how they have grown during a school year.
- Saved programs in jeopardy from mismanagement by the previous administration and secured federal flexibility to allow local schools more freedom over federal dollars.
You can read about more accomplishments at glendaritz.com/results