Tuesday, October 22, 2013


As Glenda Ritz files suit against the Governor's State Board of Education, Hoosier Voices for Public Education is calling on all Hoosier Public Education supporters to take part in a virtual March on Marian.  We need to email, call, and convey our displeasure with Daniel Elsener's role in the continued destruction of Indiana's public schools through his cronyism with Governor Mike Pence and the GOP lead Indiana General Assembly.  Mr. Elsener has made many attempts to circumvent the true will of Hoosier voters through his attacks on Glenda Ritz, his tantrums at SBOE meetings since Ritz's election, and his newest efforts to work outside the auspices of the SBOE by crafting a letter asking the legislature to take over assignment of A-F grades instead of allowing this to continue to be controlled by the Indiana Department of Education.  Mr. Elsener continues to show his true alliances to his GOP cronies in the Indiana General Assembly and Governor Pence.  He proclaims to be an "Independent", yet supports GOP candidates and works closely with the GOP leadership to gain his desired status and preferential treatment for Marian University in order to promote privatization and takeover of public schools.  We all know the GOP favors "privatization" and the "private" institutions.  The General Assembly proved this yet again during the last session by expanding vouchers and once again giving public tax dollars to private institutions.   Mr. Elsener looks to benefit from these monies as private schools push their students to continue on into the private university sector upon completion of their high school requirements.  Mr. Elsener serves a huge conflict of interest being a "private" university president on the PUBLIC State Board of Education.  He also has destructive ties to Tony Bennett, Mitch Daniels, and organizations like Teach For America and the Mind Trust.  It is time to let Mr. Elsener, the Marian Board of Trustees, and Governor Pence know that we are no longer sitting back and watching their shady antics.  We are calling them our for what they are. . . blatant attempts to cirumvent the will of Hoosier voters by grabbing power from the Elected Superintendent of PUBLIC Instruction, Glenda Ritz!

Daniel J. Elsener

2013 Board of Trustees
Jerry D. Semler, chair

Susan R. Jones-Huffine, first vice chai
rMichael A. Blickman, second vice chair
Charles A. Liles, treasurer
Patricia D. Curran, secretary
Thomas G. Hoback, immediate past chair
Nancy Ayres
William E. Bartelt
Frank M. Basile
Joseph E. Costanza
William Brent Eckhart
David S. Evans
Richard D. Feldman, M.D.
Wanda Y. Fortune
Janis B. Funk
Gary Hentschel
Catherine Hillenbrand Kennedy
Katharine M. Kruse
Daniel M. Lechleiter
James H. Madison
Edward S. Matthews
Craig M. McKee
James W. Merritt Jr.
James T. Morris
Michael B. Murphy
Samuel L. Odle
Ersal Ozdemir
Margaret Cole Russell
William N. Salin Sr.
Robert E. Sexton, D.D.S.
Joseph A. Slash
Dennis M. Sponsel
Lu Carole West



Sunday, October 20, 2013


"Please sign and share this petition to change the Indiana law to make the positions on the Indiana State Board of Education ELECTED and NOT APPOINTED by the Governor. Currently, 10 of the 11 positions are appointed. This week, while the sole elected member, Sup. Glenda Ritz, was in China on an education trip, the 10 appointed members drafted a letter to shift oversight and administration of school grading to the legislature. This is just one example of the stonewalling and shady tactics by the appointed members of the board."

Why would these State Board of Education members draft a letter of this sort?  The answer is simple, the GOP fears Glenda Ritz and her knowledge and they are willing to try anything, even circumventing the law, to usurp power from the ELECTED Superintendent and continue the Daniels/Bennett destruction of Indiana's PUBLIC schools.  These appointed board members are treading on sketchy waters if they think that the Hoosier voters, who loudly proclaimed it was time for new educational leadership in Indiana, are not watching and waiting for our opportunity to pounce and regain control.  These board members are taking action outside the law by making such moves without utilizing public open door laws and discussing their plans during public board meetings.  They are obviously meeting outside the board meetings without the presence of the Chair of the SBOE, ELECTED Superintendent Glenda Ritz.  These men and women appointed to the State Board of Education must be stopped.  They need to either resign or be run out of office.  These people do NOT represent the will of the Hoosier voters, and their continued power grabs alongside the General Assmebly are reprehensible. 

It is time for all HOOSIER VOICES to be heard.  We MUST demand a change in the current practice of power grabbing and the constant scoffing at the voters of Indiana.  We ELECTED a Superintendent of PUBLIC Instruction to lead us away from the destructive and divisive ways of Tony Bennett and Mitch Daniels.  Our one big mistake in Electing Glenda Ritz, was that not enough of us voted to elect a different Governor.  It is time to demand cooperative methods between the General Assmebly, the appointed SBOE members, and our Superintendent.  It is time to demand that these people work with the will of the voters, or we show them how we will stand up and put them out.

I do not agree with recent writings that "we're better off finding common ground through reasoned dialogue with legislators than to go after them with pitchforks."  This type of mentality is what has us in this position again.  We voted, and then we just sit back and watch instead of becoming vocally involved.  It is time that we stop watching the destructive actions and SPEAK OUT more loudly than that November day a year ago.  We must go after these men and woman who have the midset that they know more than the voters.  We must run them out of office and show them that the will of HOOSIER VOTERS will not be scoffed at and disregarded for the gains of their cronies and private campaign contributors.  Pitch forks may wll be more necessary than king words and playing nice.  We have watched what happens when the attempt to "play nice" is met with the arrogance of the likes of Dan Elsener and his GOP croines.  Governor Pence sits on his high horse "preaching" his sermon of cronyism while Bob Behning, Dennis Kruse, Brian Bosma, and David Long sing their hymns of praise.  It is time we show these men that we are done playing nice.  It is time we remind them that last November we voted because we want our PUBLIC schools back and we want our ELECTED Superintendent to lead the way!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Pence's Players

Governor Pence is getting a good deal of "credit" for continuing the destruction of Public education in Indiana.  This credit is all well deserved; however, he should not be given sole credit for the continued efforts to destroy our Public schools for the good of his cronies in the private sector.  No, Covernor Pence is not alone in his efforts.  One need only look to the Indiana State Board of Education and the Indiana General Assembly to see the other players in this game.

We all know Representative Bob Behning(R-district 91) is a major "go-to" player in this game of keep away they are playing with our public school children.  Representative Behning made every effort to continue draining monies from our children and to take power away from the ELECTED Superintendent of Public Instruction, Glenda Ritz. It is up the the voters of District 91 to see that this type of nonsense is stopped.  Bob has been in the state house too long.  He needs to be sent to "retirement" where he can arrange flowers and leave our children's educations alone.

Now, Governor Pence has created a new "agency" to shadow the Department of Education.  He has appointed a leader of this agency who will be paid a salary greater than that of Elected Superintendent Gelnda Ritz, to basically assist in the sabatoage of the state agency and the will of the Hoosier voters.  Helping the governor push his agenda are his State Board of Education appointees.  Leading the charge of the Pence/Daniels/Bennett agenda is State Board member Dan Elsener.  Mr. Elsener has tried very hard in recent board meetings to highjack the meetings from the Department of Education's ELECTED official as chair of the board.  He has attempted to violate Indiana's open door laws, by maneuvering to add to the posted agenda after meetings have begun.  Mr. Elsener is a Private university president, and has no business making decisions for our PUBLIC school children.  His mission is to continue to pad the walletts of private sector cronies who will profit from the fleecing of our public schools.  Mr. Elsener has recently "cride foul" over negative emails and phone calls he has received.  He and other board members have even asked Superintendent Ritz to "call off her people".  Well, Mr. Elsener needs to know that Glenda does not "control" the voices of the Hoosier voters who elected her.  She represents those 1.3 million voters daily in her attempts to thwart the endless shenanigans of Pence and his "players". 

It is time for those Hoosier voters to once again exercise their rights as citizens.  Speak up against the continued efforts of these politicians make your voices heard.  Continue to email, call, and spread the word that these people must be stopped at every turn.  They need to know that our PUBLIC schools are valued by the majority of Hoosiers, and they must not be allowed to fund their private sector cronies any longer.  Make your voice heard.  Make your feelings known.  Email and call often, until those who have the opportunity to make things right again for our public schools are doing just that, or we demand their resignations or vote them out.

Here is contact information for Governor Pence, State Board of Education Memebers, and Representative Behning. 

Governor Pence

By Phone: 317-232-4567 By Mail:
Office of the Governor
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204-2797


Representative Bob Behning. - h91@iga.in.gov - 1-800-382-9841 - R

State Board Members

ChairGlenda Ritz
Superintendent of Public Instruction
Room 229 State House
Indianapolis, IN 46204
First Congressional DistrictTony Walker tony@walkerlawgroup.biz363 S. Lake Street
Gary, IN 46403
Second Congressional DistrictDavid Freitas drdavidfreitas@comcast.net1700 Mishawaka Avenue
South Bend, IN 46634
Third Congressional DistrictCari Whicker cwhicker@hccsc.k12.in.usRiverview Middle School
2465 Waterworks Road
Huntington, IN 46750
Fourth Congressional DistrictSarah O’Brien
River Birch Elementary School
5456 East 75 North
Avon, IN 46123
Fifth Congressional DistrictAndrea Neal
7034 N. Park Ave
Indianapolis, IN 46220
Sixth Congressional DistrictBrad Oliver brad4education@gmail.com
Star Buidling, Office 143-B
Indiana Wesleyan University
1900 W 50th Street
Marion, IN 46935
Seventh Congressional DistrictDaniel Elsener
Marian University
3200 Cold Springs Road
Indianapolis, IN 46222
Eighth Congressional DistrictB.J. Watts
11148 Saint Wendel Road
Evansville, IN 47720
Ninth Congressional DistrictTroy Albert
Henryville Jr. Sr. High School
213 N Ferguson Street
Henryville, IN 47126
At-LargeGordon Hendry