August 15, 2013 11:53 am

Bennett Announces Resignation in Florida

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bennettThis morning, Florida Education Commissioner Tony Bennett announced his resignation. The announcement comes just four days after the Associated Press published e-mails found from Bennett’s time as Indiana School Superintendent which revealed that Bennett had secretly altered the way in which schools were graded in order to reward his political supporters. Bennett’s changes specifically affected the ratings of charter schools such as Christel House, which Bennett claimed was being unfairly rated under the previous grading system. Despite Bennett’s denials of allegations against him, many of his own staff contradicted his denials.

Bennett’s resignation comes at a time when many supporters of data-driven corporate reform are finding themselves involved in similar scandals. A piece written this week by Bruce Baker of School Finance 101 claims that rather than referring to corporate reform, we should look at corporate reform for what it truly is: “FAILED corporate management strategy – often hastily adopted in a moment of leadership desperation – and rarely if ever achieving the desire turn around.”

On the flip side, this week we have also seen the punishments facing those in the education community who refuse to perpetuate this “corporate management strategy.” In the case of John Barge, Georgia’s Education Commissioner, the U.S. Department of Education is withholding funds from the state because Barge will not impose the sort of scandalous strategies that many others are instituting. According to Leonie Haimson of Class Size Matters, the DOE is harming Georgia’s schools because Barge refuses to create “a statistically invalid and wasteful teacher evaluation system.”

To read more about these and other stories, we invite you to visit some of this week’s News Briefs on our website.