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Bennett finds state-level work with ACT testing

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Former Indiana Schools Superintendent Tony Bennett is back in the public eye, helping to pitch a Common Core test to state education leaders four months after he resigned as Florida's schools chief in the midst of issues involving charter school grades.

ACT spokesman Ed Colby said Friday that Bennett will help the company pitch its Aspire test throughout the states, but deferred specific questions to Aspire's president. ACT is more widely known for its college-entry tests administered throughout the Midwest. But it also is among many testing companies looking to sell tests to states that have adopted Common Core standards.

Bennett did not reply to emailed requests for comment this week.

Bennett resigned his job running Florida schools a few days after The Associated Press published emails showing he had altered Indiana's school-grading formula to raise the grade of a campaign donor's charter school from a "C'' to an "A." A pair of legislative investigators found Bennett's changes to be evenly applied to other schools but declined to address his motivations.

The former Republican schools chief and national education star is also the subject of ethics charges filed by Indiana's inspector general. Bennett is accused of misusing state resources and staff in his failed re-election bid. The Associated Press obtained campaign fundraising lists Bennett and his staff had maintained on state computers and emails suggesting his Statehouse staff were campaigning for him on state time.

His case is scheduled to be heard Jan. 9 by the State Ethics Commission.

Since resigning his high-profile job in Florida, Bennett has moved back to southern Indiana and was in talks to work with an education group being built by Republican fundraiser Fred Klipsch.

ACT is among a handful of major education companies looking to sell tests to states implementing national, K-12 education standards. Bennett helped push approval of Common Core during his tenure as Indiana's superintendent, but Republican state lawmakers recently "paused" its implementation amid a growing backlash from tea partyers.

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  1. Great article and post scripts by Mike L (Great addition to IBJ BTW). Bobby's stubborn as a mule, and doubt if he ever comes back to IU. But the love he would receive would be enormous. Hope he shows some time, but not counting on it.

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  4. Jim, your "misleading" numbers comment is spot on. This is the spin these posers are putting on it. News flash, fans: these guys lie. They are not publicly traded so no one holds them accountable for anything they say. The TV numbers are so miniscule to begin with any "increase" produces double digit "growth" numbers. It's ridiculous to think that anything these guys have done has awakened the marketplace. What have they done? Consolidate the season so they run more races on consecutive weekends? And this creates "momentum." Is that the same momentum you enjoy when you don't race between August and March? Keep in mind that you are running teams who barely make ends meet ragged over the summer to accomplish this brilliant strategy of avoiding the NFL while you run your season finale at midnight on the East Coast. But I should not obfuscate my own point: any "ratings increase" is exactly what Jim points to - the increased availability of NBC Sports in households. Look fans, I love the sport to but these posers are running it off a cliff. Miles wants to declare victory and then run for Mayor. I could go on and on but bottom line for God's sake don't believe a word they say. Note to Anthony - try doing just a little research instead of reporting what these pretenders say and then offering an "opinion" no more informed than the average fan.

  5. If he's finally planning to do the right thing and resign, why not do it before the election? Waiting until after means what - s special election at tax payer expense? Appointment (by whom?) thus robbing the voters of their chance to choose? Does he accrue some additional financial advantage to waiting, like extra pension payments? What's in it for him? That's the question that needs to be asked.

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