We took notice of a letter sent to newspapers from Ashley Gibson the new state director of Students First. The letter is an ill-conceived attempt to place blame on Superintendent Ritz over the status of Indiana’s No Child Left Behind (NCLB) waiver.
It was no surprise that Ms. Gibson goes out of her way to defend the work of her former bosses, Mitch Daniels, Tony Bennett and Mike Pence.
We would like to point out that Governor Pence himself accepted his role in causing an issue with Indiana’s NCLB waiver. In the same letter to Arne Duncan which Ms. Gibson references, Pence acknowledged his withdrawing of Indiana from PARCC, as well as the legislature’s actions in pausing and then dropping of Common Core standards, as reasons for the waiver issues Indiana now faces. Glenda Ritz and the Department of Education has been left to pick up the pieces for Indiana’s about face on Common Core.
Rather than trying to place unfair blame, Ms. Gibson and others should be seeking to find common ground with Superintendent Ritz so that Students First and other ‘like-named” groups ensure that students really are first.