The likely Democratic nominee for Superintendent of Public Instruction could find herself in an odd position of helping defend the same teachers who are in the middle of a major ISTEP cheating scandal in Washington Township Schools.
Both WTHR-TV and Fox 59 News have reported that the Indiana Department of Education is investigating what could be a pattern of systemic cheating that has gone back years in Washington Township Schools.
The cheating came to the attention of the state from whistleblowers.
What complicates the matter is that the likely Democratic candidate for Superintendent of Public Instruction, Glenda Ritz, is also the head of the Washington Township Teacher’s Union, which would have to help represent a teacher accused of wrongdoing. She also sits on the Board of Directors for the Indiana State Teachers Association.
This puts Ritz in the precarious position of defending individuals accused of breaking the rules enforced by an office that she plans to run for.
In a most recent interview with Indy Politics Indiana Democratic Party Chairman Dan Parker said he was not worried about the allegations. Democrats will nominate their candidate for the spot on June 15 in Ft. Wayne. The only candidate in the race is Martisnsville teacher Justin Oakley. However, Ritz has been considered the favorite because of her ties to ISTA and the fact the organization reportedly plans to spend $1 million to defeat Republican incumbent Dr. Tony Bennett.