No plans to wipe out Florida's leadership team, Bennett says
Shortly after his appointment as Florida's next education commissioner, Tony Bennett told Rick Hess in Education Week of his plans to bring "at least four people" from Indiana to help him make the move into his new job.
We called to ask who was coming, and who was going to make room for these people. Bennett, who has staffers who likely lost their jobs when voters bumped him from office, said he had no plans to purge the Florida Department of Education to provide a soft landing for his Indiana advisers.
"I am still a new commissioner transitioning into a department," he said. "One of the things I want to bring is fresh sets of eyes to say how do we align our department resources to these very important strategic initiatives? How do we do these things? Are there things we need to be thinking about that I want to get my mind wrapped around before I walk in on Jan. 14. So this group will be coming with me to give me ideas on what are the very good things going on that we should capitalize on, what are some of the things in the department that we need to tweak and how do we align our resources, maybe around Common Core implementation."
So you're not talking about bringing in a new staff, we asked, just to be sure.
"No," Bennett asserted. "There is very little question there will be people from Indiana who will want to come with us. ... And some of those are very talented people. But there should never be this fear that we are going to totally wipe out the leadership team at the Florida Department of Education to bring in Tony Bennett's team."