Tony Bennett applies to be Florida ed chief

From the Orlando Sentinel School Zone blog this morning:

Tony Bennett, Indiana’s outgoing state schools superintendent, has applied to be Florida’s next education commissioner, a spokesman for the Indiana Department of Education said this morning.

“After careful consideration, I have decided to submit an application for Florida’s Commissioner of Education position,” Bennett said in a statement. “The Sunshine State’s consistent commitment to providing all students a top-notch education is impressive and inspiring. I look forward to participating in the next stages of this process.”

Bennett championed what many call Florida-style education reforms in Indiana but lost his bid for Indiana’s elected school post in November. He lost to a teacher and teacher union leader who opposed many of those policies, including revamping teacher evaluations and allowing private firms to operate struggling schools.

Bennett is part of Chiefs for Change, a group of state education leaders whose work is promoted by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush’s education foundations. Bennett spoke at Bush’s annual education summit last week in Washington, D.C. 

The State Board of Education hires Florida’s education commissioner. The board is to interview finalists on Dec. 11 and could pick its commissioner at its meeting the next day.

More from Indianapolis Star, Education Week, Gradebook, StateImpact Florida.

Gradebook has a list of all applicants here.

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