Accountability expert: Bennett should step down

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

INDIANAPOLIS A national school accountability leader says Florida Education Commissioner Tony Bennett should resign for orchestrating an effort to change the grade for a top GOP donor's school while leading Indiana's education overhaul.

Pioneer Institute Executive Director Jim Stergios says Bennett violated the trust of Indiana students and parents by working to ensure that the Christel House Academy received an "A'' after it fell to a "C'' on the state's "A-F" accountability scale.

The Associated Press obtained emails showing Bennett and his advisers scrambling to improve the school's mark.

Bennett became Florida's top education official in December. He denies wrongdoing in the Indiana case and says the grading formula changes weren't solely directed at Christel House.

School founder Christel DeHaan has given more than $2.8 million to Republicans since 1998.

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