In a major upset that will delight school reform foes around the country, Indiana voters tossed out controversial state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett and elected veteran teacher Glenda Ritz in his place, the Indianapolis Star reported.
The vote has resonance beyond Indiana because Bennett was a leader of the national market-driven school reform movement who pushed through a statewide voucher program and took other steps that critics said amounted to the privatization of public education.
Ritz opposes many of the initiatives that Bennett supported, including vouchers (though she can’t change the 2011 state law allowing vouchers), charter schools and state takeover of failing schools. She has also raised questions about the Common Core State Standards adopted by the state.
Bennett was quoted by the Star as saying in his concession speech:
I dare say this is the last time I’ll ever be on a stage like this so I’m going to sign off by saying I have no regrets.