In an exclusive Afternoons with Amos interview, Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz talked about Wednesday’s State Board of Education meeting which many are describing as chaotic and disrespectful to one of Indiana’s statewide elected officials.  ceci logoIn the interview Ritz explained that a state agency created by Executive Order of Gov. Mike Pence, without legislative oversight, the Center for Education Career Innovation (CECI), which provides staff support to the State Board of Education has , in Ritz’ view, been interfering with the operation and duties of the Indiana Department of Education which Ritz, by statue, heads.  Ritz talked about the fact that she expressed her anger at some of the actions taken by the Board at the meeting which stripped away some of her authority as Chair and diluted some oversight and aspects of her Department.  Supt. Ritz told Amos and listeners of one egregious action by CECI, which was to send a memo to the US Department of Education on July 8th, criticizing and publicly attacking the State of Indiana’s formal response to Federal concerns over a Waiver the state had received under the Federal No Child Left Behind law.  The length memorandum criticized large sections of the Waiver proposal Ritz had submitted on behalf of the State. To observers the memorandum was extraordinarily nitpicky and petty and seemed to be designed to force the US Department of Education to reject the waiver application. Supt. Ritz harshly criticized the action taken by CECI and endorsed by the State Board. arlington hsAmos also asked Supt. Ritz about the bombshell announcement at the meeting that Tindley Schools, the takeover operator of Arlington High School, said that without additional funding they would withdraw as operator of the school.  Supt. Ritz said that CECI which had conservations with the Indianapolis Mayor’s office about Tindley’s concerns didn’t inform her about the problems. Both she and the State Board were stunned by Tindley’s announcement..Three years ago the State Board of Education voted to take control of Arlington and three other IPS and one Gary public school and turn the schools over to three “takeover groups”. Tindley was the only Indiana-based and only minority operator.  Supt. Ritz said she hoped that an agreement could be worked out to keep Arlington open, perhaps in a partnership with IPS. Similar to partnerships now permitted by a new state law passed earlier this year by the Indiana Legislature. Click the Link To Read the CECI Memo Attacking Supt. Ritz and Indiana’s No Child Left Behind Waiver Request.  CECI RESPONSE TO INDIANA NCLB WAIVER REQUEST Click the Media Player to Hear Supt. Ritz’s Exclusive Afternoons with Amos interview. Runs 15 Minutes ©2014 WTLC/Radio One.

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