Foundation for Florida's Future Weighs in on Indiana Grading Decisions
“Commissioner Bennett and his department found and corrected a mistake that would have unfairly penalized 13 schools missing data for grades they did not even serve. They fixed a problem to be accurate and fair – any accusation otherwise is false and politically motivated," said Patricia Levesque, executive director for the Foundation.
“'A' to 'F' school grading empowers parents to know how well schools are serving their children, in a transparent and easy to understand way. In 2012, Indiana was in its first year of its new school grading calculation, and there is always a learning process when implementing a policy new to a state.
“The best thing to do is to lay out the facts, which is what Commissioner Bennett is doing. Political attacks will come and go. The focus must remain on ensuring every student has access to a high-quality education that prepares them for success.”
Bennett is accused of changing the charter school's grade as special treatment because the school was run by an influential Republican donor, Christel DeHaan. Bennett worked as the Indiana Schools superintendent before he became commissioner of education in Florida.
"The fact that anyone would say I would try to cook the books for Christel House is so wrong," said Bennett on Monday. "It's frankly so off base."