Ritz, Gregg Stump For Votes In Aurora
By Mike Perleberg
Glenda Ritz and John Gregg campaigned together at South Dearborn High School in Aurora on Wednesday, February 24. Photo by Mike Perleberg, Eagle Country 99.3.
(Aurora, Ind.) – If Indiana voters put John Gregg in the governor’s office, superintendent Glenda Ritz plans to make a number of reforms to education in the state.
Two of the state’s top Democrat candidates appeared together at South Dearborn High School in Aurora on Wednesday. Gregg is the Democrat in a rematch with Republican Governor Mike Pence after losing a close 2012 election.
“I believe in what you do. Help is on the way. So sit tight, okay?” Gregg told about three dozen teachers and school administrators in attendance.
Ritz is seeking re-election as the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, a position that makes her the only Democrat holding a statewide office. She told teachers in the audience she needs John Gregg as a governor who supports public education.
“Honestly, in four more years I’m not sure you’ll recognize public education. This is a very, very, very important election that’s coming up,” Ritz said.
She wants to stop Indiana’s accountability system of labeling schools on an A-F scale. She argued that it harms students who should be selected for college and jobs based on their own merit, not where they went to school.
“I can’t wait until we are not labeling schools A, B, C, D, and F,” Ritz said to applause.
Glenda Ritz addresses voters at South Dearborn High School in Aurora on Wednesday, February 24. Photo by Mike Perleberg, Eagle Country 99.3.
Gregg also spoke, saying if he’s elected he’ll stop what he called a war against teachers. He blamed a shortage of new teachers in Indiana on the political climate in the state.
“I want to get back to the days when teachers can teach and control is with the local school boards,” Gregg said.
Ritz and Gregg each railed against the oft-troubled ISTEP+ test given to students in Indiana schools.
“I advocated right from the start when I started running for re-election that I wanted to make sure we are reducing the testing. I have never been in favor of ISTEP, the pass/fail test. Every teacher who gives it knows who is not going to pass it before we spend millions of dollars giving it. It’s an absolute fact,” Ritz said.
Gregg, a 61-year-old attorney who has previously served as president of Vincennes University and Speaker of the Indiana House, said he voted against the ISTEP+ when he was a freshman legislator in the 1980s.
Gregg also criticized Indiana’s Republican leadership for low wages, failing to add LGBT protections to the state’s civil rights law, and confronting the state’s heroin problem.