IBJNews

Indiana school chief Bennett takes Florida post

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Indiana's state superintendent of public instruction was hired Wednesday as Florida's new education commissioner.

The State Board of Education unanimously selected Tony Bennett, a Republican who lost a bid for re-election in Indiana last month, from a slate of three finalists at its regular meeting in Tampa.

Board members cited Bennett's background as a teacher, principal, local superintendent and state schools chief as well as his active role in the implementation of Common Core State Standards. Florida is among 45 states, the District of Columbia and three territories that have agreed to adopt the national standards.

The board also cited Bennett's pledge to seek out the views of teachers, parents, administrators and community members.

Bennett led efforts in Indiana to adopt many of the accountability changes, including letter grades for schools, pioneered by Florida and former Gov. Jeb Bush, who has close ties to several board members.

Immediately after the vote, Bennett was ushered into the meeting room. He told the board he was looking forward to the opportunity to continue Florida's momentum toward improving student achievement and serving as an example for the rest of the country.

Before the vote, the board celebrated Florida's 2011 fourth-graders, who came in second only to Hong Kong on an international reading test.

The other finalists were Murray State University President Randy Dunn, who once served as state schools superintendent in Illinois, and Arlington, Va., education consultant Charles Hokanson, a former deputy assistant U.S. secretary of education in President George W. Bush's administration.

The board interviewed all three Tuesday.

Former Commissioner Gerard Robinson resigned in August after about a year on the job. He cited separation from his family in Virginia, where he previously had been secretary of education, after his wife, a law professor, was unable to find a comparable job in Tallahassee.

Bennett will be replaced by Democrat Glenda Ritz in January.

ADVERTISEMENT

  • How voters believe what is said and not what is done
    I note with great shock how the public (and newspapers) will believe what a politician says while ignoring what they do. Tony claimed "teacher accountability" but really seemed to only want to sell(give tax dollars) to private school management firms and student testing firms. The political donation list is a real eye opener. I just don't believe the donations were for the good of education. Poor Florida (and Purdue with Mitch's still unpublished contract---we can get lots of public input when we ignore open door laws.)
  • Florida is used to it.
    @IN Teacher Bennett will fit right in. Florida is already used to bullying and arrogance on a grand scale in the form of their crazed Tea Party governor Rick Scott. Bennett will merely help Scott trash the state further before voters show Scott the door in 2014.
  • Agreement
    Yes, John, I agree. The state of Florida better be prepared for bullying and arrogance on a grand scale. Good riddance!
    • Pray for the children of Florida
      Pray for the children of Florida as this disaster, Tony Bennett, takes over the education system in that state. Of course, with Jeb Bush already causing harm with his "education" policies, what more can be done? Sadly, we'll find out.

      Post a comment to this story

      COMMENTS POLICY
      We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
       
      You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
       
      Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
       
      No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
       
      We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
       

      Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

      Sponsored by
      ADVERTISEMENT

      facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

      Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
      Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
       
      Subscribe to IBJ
      1. The east side does have potential...and I have always thought Washington Scare should become an outlet mall. Anyone remember how popular Eastgate was? Well, Indy has no outlet malls, we have to go to Edinburgh for the deep discounts and I don't understand why. Jim is right. We need a few good eastsiders interested in actually making some noise and trying to change the commerce, culture and stereotypes of the East side. Irvington is very progressive and making great strides, why can't the far east side ride on their coat tails to make some changes?

      2. Boston.com has an article from 2010 where they talk about how Interactions moved to Massachusetts in the year prior. http://www.boston.com/business/technology/innoeco/2010/07/interactions_banks_63_million.html The article includes a link back to that Inside Indiana Business press release I linked to earlier, snarkily noting, "Guess this 2006 plan to create 200-plus new jobs in Indiana didn't exactly work out."

      3. I live on the east side and I have read all your comments. a local paper just did an article on Washington square mall with just as many comments and concerns. I am not sure if they are still around, but there was an east side coalition with good intentions to do good things on the east side. And there is a facebook post that called my eastside indy with many old members of the eastside who voice concerns about the east side of the city. We need to come together and not just complain and moan, but come up with actual concrete solutions, because what Dal said is very very true- the eastside could be a goldmine in the right hands. But if anyone is going damn, and change things, it is us eastside residents

      4. Please go back re-read your economics text book and the fine print on the February 2014 CBO report. A minimum wage increase has never resulted in a net job loss...

      5. The GOP at the Statehouse is more interested in PR to keep their majority, than using it to get anything good actually done. The State continues its downward spiral.

      ADVERTISEMENT