Indiana education meeting descends into chaos amid power struggle
- A meeting of Indiana's Board of Education descended into chaos Wednesday after an appointee of Republican Gov. Mike Pence tried to transfer various state career and college prep testing powers away from Democratic Superintendent Glenda Ritz.
- The transfer would have placed those powers in the hands of Pence's second education department, the Center for Education and Career Innovation, a new organization that has created a power struggle in Indiana's education system.
- Ritz abruptly adjourned the meeting and stormed out, followed quickly by other state education staffers, and later blamed Pence and his second department for the ongoing fight. Pence, meanwhile, denied he is usurping the superintendent's power.
This incident is the latest salvo in a contentious battle between Ritz and Pence. There was a rare agreement between all parties Wednesday, however, as the board approved new school grade categories and accepted a bipartisan panels recommendations. The state's school grading system found itself embroiled in scandal several months ago following the revelation that former superintendent Tony Bennett bent the rules to give a donor's charter school a higher grade.
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