Teacher wrath costs Bennett


Democratic Superintendent of Public Instruction candidate Glenda Ritz celebrates defeating Republican Tony Bennett an election night event in Indianapolis, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)


Republican Tony Bennett has lost his bid for a second term as Indiana’s schools superintendent to a lifelong educator backed by teachers unhappy with Bennett’s sweeping education overhaul.

Tuesday’s victory by Democrat Glenda Ritz was seen as a victory for Indiana teachers who have felt Bennett blamed them for school failures. Many educators have opposed changes under Bennett that include expanding charter school access, limiting teachers’ collective bargaining and basing teacher pay raises on annual evaluations.

Bennett also pushed for the state’s private school voucher program and oversaw the first state takeover of troubled public schools.

Ritz has pledged to roll back many of Bennett’s changes, including a reading test that third-graders must pass to advance to fourth grade.

Ritz is an elementary school library media specialist in Indianapolis.

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