Thursday, August 1, 2013
Education (Grade) Change Agent Tony Bennett Resigns; Florida Looks for Its 6th Ed Commissioner in 31 Months
As we and everyone else predicted, Tony Bennett resigned today after the Associated Press published his emails about changing the rating of a charter school owned by a prominent GOP donor. Valerie Strauss at The Answer Sheet discusses another issue with Tony Bennett's resignation today:
via The Answer Sheet.
But there’s more to this story than the fall of Tony Bennett in Florida. For one thing, it shows continuous change in Florida in regard to public education under Scott; there have been five education commissioners and interim commissioners in Scott’s 31-month tenure in office. Change can be a good thing, but it can also wreak havoc. Why can’t Scott keep a commissioner? Said Nan Rich, a Democrat and former Florida Senate minority leader who is running for governor: “How can we hold students, teachers and schools accountable if the system’s leadership keeps changing? We need to stop the revolving door of leaders.” She makes a good point. The ousting of Bennett in Florida underscores a growing schism among Florida Republicans over the future of school reform. That split became clear last month when the state’s top Republican lawmakers asked Bennett to pull out of a group of states designing high-stakes standardized tests aligned with the Common Core State Standards and not to accept those assessments as a replacement for the state’s current exams. Bennett has been a big Common Core supporter, as well as a leading member of one of the two consortia designing the Core-aligned exams. Bush is a big Core supporter, too, but a growing number of Florida Republicans aren’t, including Sen. Marco Rubio.