Education, From The Capitol To The Classroom

Bennett To Interview In Florida Tuesday

Elle Moxley / StateImpact Indiana

State superintendent Tony Bennett speaks during the State Board of Education's meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012.

Outgoing State Superintendent Tony Bennett will interview Tuesday for Florida’s top schools job. He’s one of three finalists from a pool of more than 60. You can read brief bios of all three candidates over at StateImpact Florida.

Bennett decided to put his name in consideration after losing the election to Washington Township teacher Glenda Ritz last month. He told StateImpact he had to weigh his desire to stay in Indiana with the opportunity to continue working with kids:

As a guy who is a Hoosier through and through, who spent all but one year of his professional life in Indiana, I had to ask myself how important it was to balance that issue between loving the role of state school chief and driving education policy for children of a state versus living in Indiana. And I don’t believe there are any other states in the country better than Florida to do what I love to do. I’m excited about it, but will it will be hard? Of course it’ll be hard. But on January 11, I have to make a pretty quick emotional and intellectual pivot. And that emotional and intellectual pivot is I have to put Indiana in my rear-view mirror if I’m selected. And I have to underscore, ‘if I’m selected’…

I’m thrilled that the opportunity exists, and I hope the opportunity works out. I hope that on [December] 12 that we have the opportunity to serve the state of Florida, and the children of Florida more importantly than anything.

Interviews with Bennett and the other two candidates are slated to start after the regular Florida State Board of Education meeting Tuesday afternoon. You can watch a live stream on The Florida Channel starting at 3 p.m. Bennett’s interview is scheduled for 4:15 p.m., though it could start slightly earlier or later depending on time.

Click here to download a copy of Bennett’s resume.


  • inteach

    Tony’s resume left some things out…

    -Supported teacher merit pay legislation even though research has clearly shown it to be generally ineffective in boosting student achievement.

    - Supported basing teacher pay on standardized test score despite the fact such scores are unreliable predictors of teacher competency.

    -Worked to erode the notion of local control by threatening privatization of entire school districts.

    - Helped to recklessly expand state voucher program even though research generally shows vouchers do little to improve student outcomes.

    - Fought to limit the right of teachers to collectively bargain.

    - Shifted millions of public dollars from secular to religious schools.

    -Refused to publicly condemn the teaching of creationism in public schools.

    -Stood by silently while the legislature enacted draconian cuts to education budgets.

    - Supported legislation that will drastically cut teacher lifetime earnings in the name of “rewarding good teachers”.

    - Was intensely motivated by free market ideologies instead of the best interest of students.

    - Continually ignored credible voices that disagreed with his reform agenda.

    - Put career and political ambitions ahead of data-driven decision making.

    - Insulted and bullied well-meaning teachers if they dared to question his credibility.

    -Worked to make the DOE a secretive, partisan organization that punished its opponents and rewarded its allies.

    -Ignored consensus building while opting to practice heavy-handed, “top-down” management styles.

    - Fundamentally failed to recognize the democratic value of public education.

    • WisdomfromM2

      You forgot to add giving the Indiana School for the Blind and the Indiana School for the Deaf, both school with high respect across the country, and “F” grade because the students did not reach the level of “growth” of the other schools. And, he deprofessionalized education by making a master’s degree worth nothing on the salary scale for teachers who wanted to learn more, do more.

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