(Guest Post by Matthew Ladner)
Just in case there is any lingering doubt out there about just what happened in the faux Indiana grading “scandal” the Sunshine State News very helpfully dispels it:
It was Tony Bennett’s successor in Indiana, state Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz, formerly head of the teachers union in Washington Township schools, who turned over Bennett’s entire Outlook file — six months of emails, four years of calendar items, everything — to Associated Press reporter Tom LoBianco, according to two of Ritz’s employees.
Ritz beat Bennett in the 2012 Indiana general election, becoming the first Democrat to win the job in 42 years. Bennett had been a favorite of former Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels and the GOP-controlled Legislature.
Two employees in Ritz’s office spoke late Monday to Sunshine State News on condition of anonymity. “Glenda is Tony’s sworn enemy,” said one of the employees. “She approached Tom (LoBianco) and cooperated with the press right down the line.”
“I think the idea was to destroy what Tony stands for by tainting him with a little dirt,” the second employee added, saying what offended Ritz was his hard-driving agenda of charters, vouchers and high-stakes testing.
So you take someone’s entire Outlook file, sift through it, put out a few emails without any context whatsoever. Oh and you make up a story to go along with your out of context emails, and you don’t even bother to learn whether your story holds up to the most basic levels of scrutiny. Questions like “were the changes made reasonable given the circumstances and did they apply across the board?” don’t carry the slightest bit of relevance if your aim is to smear someone, which of course is precisely what Ritz and LoBianco accomplished.
I’m curious where have the rest of the Indiana press been during all of this. Why did it take a news outlet from Florida to reveal what ought to have been immediately suspected from the outset?
UPDATE: While I have a difference of opinion regarding “super-subgroup” and other details RiShawn Biddle’s analysis on this subject is a must read.