Will Ritz continue to bury evidence reforms are working?


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On Thursday the United States Department of Education will release scores from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).

The NAEP is sometimes called “the nation’s report card.” Indiana scores are embargoed until tomorrow but early indications are that we can expect good news.

And this will be a continued trend. Indiana students have made steady gains over the last four years in graduation rates, AP participation and success, and ISTEP+ scores.

But Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz and her team have consistently downplayed, and in some cases altogether ignored, these recent positive results.

Ritz and her team do not want Indiana parents to know that the education reforms of the last four years are working.

But working they are. Graduation rates are at an all-time high. Advanced Placement participation and success are at all-time highs. And ISTEP+ scores have improved each of the last four years.

So it will be interesting to see if Ritz has a comment on the NAEP scores tomorrow. And if Indiana students do make gains, as expected, to what will Ritz credit these gains.

Ritz and the teachers unions have one objective – undoing the reforms of the Mitch Daniels and Tony Bennett era. But rolling back these reforms means ignoring the simple truth – that they are working.

For now, we can eagerly await both the scores, and Ritz’s efforts to downplay them.

Cam Savage is a principal at Limestone Strategies and a veteran of numerous Republican campaigns and the National Republican Senatorial Committee. He can be reached at cam@capitolandwashington.com. Follow him on Twitter @CamSavage.

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