Tag Archive | "Tony Bennett"


Are Some Indiana Legislators Looking to Scrap Tony Bennett’s School Grade System?

January 10, 2013

Originally published: January 5, 2013

By: Bob Sikes – Scathing Purple Musings

Incoming Florida education commissioner said in an interview with Gradebook’s Jeff Solochek, “I was the person who was described as bringing the Florida reforms to Indiana.”  Well it appears one of those reforms isn’t seen as so great to some Indiana legislators. Jeff Schultz of the Chesterton Tribune writes:

Her lips are sealed for now but Indiana State Sen. Karen Tallian, D-Ogden Dunes, told the Chesterton Tribune she is authoring a “major” bill dealing with education that she will reveal next week as the Indiana General Assembly gets underway starting Monday afternoon.

Tallian, who represents all of Duneland, said she will hold a press conference to introduce the bill. All state legislators have until Jan. 11 to introduce legislation they have authored or co-authored.

On the topic of education, Tallian said she expects the current A to F grading system on schools implemented by former State Superintendent of Education Dr. Tony Bennett is going to be “thrown out.” That is one of the goals of newly elected Democrat Glenda Ritz, who beat Bennett in last November’s election.

Bennett’s system grades schools on an academic growth factor, encouraging schools to make better test scores. But many top-performing schools saw their grades fall this year, including Chesterton Middle School which went from an A in 2011 to a D in 2012, simply because of a lack of increase in the growth factor.

Tallian said she concurs with Ritz’s stance that the system is “too complicated” and many schools are not able to make sense of the grades they received.

“The bottom line is it makes no sense,” Tallian said, adding that even some of her colleagues on the Republican side would agree.

What? Republicans, you say?

Floridians are even more tired of Jeb Bush’s school grade system.  The editors of theCitrus County Chronicle noted this week that a troubling disconnect exists between an A school and poor graduation rates of at-risk kids. They observed that school grades  ”just provides the who’s, what’s, when’s and where’s; it doesn’t address the why’s.”

It appears the Chronicle’s editors would agree with Tallian’s point that the system “makes no sense.” Tony Bennett is bringing “at least four people” from Indiana – all likely to be true believers in the Bush-Bennett way. Any opposition or skepticism will be met by  dismissive flurries of “accountable’s” and “accountability’s.” It’s as if they believe that if that they just keep saying it, it will make it true.

Original article: http://bobsidlethoughtsandmusings.wordpress.com/2013/01/05/are-some-indiana-legislators-looking-to-scrap-tony-bennetts-school-grade-system/

Posted in Contributors, Education, Scathing Purple MusingComments (0)


What Will Happen to FLDOE Investigation of K12 Inc When Tony Bennett Arrives?

Janaury 6,  2013

Originally published: January 1, 2013

By: Bob Sikes – Scathing Pruple Musings

A glimpse at John O’Connor’s StateImpact review of 2012′s top stories reminds readers of the ongoing investigation of online education giant K12 Inc by the Florida Department of Education (FLDOE) for irregularities in Seminole County.

State investigating K12 — In September we told you the Florida Department of Education was investigating K12, Inc., the nation’s largest online education company.

Emails between K12 officials and teachers suggested the company had asked teachers to sign off on Seminole County students they had not taught. The emails raised questions about whether K12 was using teachers properly certified according to Florida law.

We also told you how K12 service plans include student-to-teacher rations of 275-to-1 and how school districts have found problems with a network of online charter schools tied to K12 applying around Florida.

The story broke in September, only a month after then education commissioner Gerard Robinson resigned. At the time the FDOE investigation began, no one could imagine that the next education commissioner would be former Indiana state superintendent Tony Bennett. The FLDOE has been silent on the investigation, but Bennett’s appointment brings a clear conflict of interests.

The media is only beginning to realize that Bennett brings baggage with him from Indiana. Gradebook’s Jeff Solochek picked up on my look at the state board of education members who hired him and also donated to Bennett as a Indiana candidate for office.  Bennett received several other contributions from education corporations who do business in Florida which he will oversee as education commissioner.  One of those conflicts has arrived. K12 Inc  made two $5000 to Bennett’s campaign,  once in 2011 and again in 2012.

The FLDOE will have to wrap up its investigation and announce it’s findings of K12 Inc before Bennett assumes control of the department in two weeks. If not, the investigation will need to be turned over to another department. To do otherwise will bring critical scrutiny to not only Bennett, but also upon the state board and an embattled FLDOE that doesn’t need the drama.

Orginal article: http://bobsidlethoughtsandmusings.wordpress.com/2013/01/01/what-will-happen-to-fldoe-investigation-of-k12-inc-when-tony-bennett-arrives/

Posted in Contributors, Education, Scathing Purple MusingComments (0)

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