Resistance to Indiana’s Neoliberal Education Policies: How Glenda Ritz Won

Jose Ivan Martinez, Jeffery L. Cantrell, Jayne Beilke


The election of Glenda Ritz as Superintendent of Public Instruction of Indiana not only symbolized a reversal in K12 education reform, but also demonstrated how teachers, unions, and communities worked together to express their resistance to the neoliberal policies of then Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Tony Bennett. Under the administration of Bennett, Indiana had become a ‘trailblazer’ in the nation for an aggressive reform strategy that advanced school choice, an increased number of charter schools, punitive teacher evaluations, and the adoption of the divisive Common Core State Standards. This case study examines and documents the complex features of this election including how teachers and unions collaborated with their communities to demonstrate resistance to Bennett’s policies through various grassroots efforts. Data was collected from from primary sources and government documents. Additionally, the authors conducted interviews with Ritz and teacher union leaders, examined posts in social media, and studied archival reports from mainstream media.



neoliberalism; education policy; K12 education reform

Full Text: PDF

ISSN 1715-0094  Workplace