(Saige Driver / 1190 WOWO)

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WOWO): With about three weeks until the election, the state superintendent of public instruction candidates debated in Fort Wayne.

The state superintendent of public instruction candidates, Jennifer McCormick (R) and Glenda Ritz (D), were at IPFW on Monday afternoon for their first and only debate.

The debate questions focused on teacher evaluations, ISTEP, Every Student Succeeds Act, attracting and retaining teachers, universal preK and school funding.

During the opening statements, each candidate explained why they were running for superintendent of public instruction.

The Incumbent, Glenda Ritz, said she decided to run in 2012 because a 3rd grader told her she didn’t need to check out a book because she did well on the iread3.

“And, I said to myself, ‘What are we doing with the children, when they think the act of checking out a book has anything to do with the test that she just took,’” Ritz said. “That very, very next day I decided to sign up to see how I could be superintendent of public instruction.”

“For me, the decision to run is simple,” McCormick said in her opening statement. “Right now we have a Department of Education that lacks leadership and vision and when you have that things become very disorganized and disconnected from the local level.”

RELATED: Indiana schools chief candidates split on leadership, ISTEP

Both candidates joined Pat Miller after the debate. You can listen to the interviews below.

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