Tony Bennett takes charge at Florida Department of Education
Florida's new education commissioner Tony Bennett officially begins his tenure today. And the Florida Department of Education has taken no time in putting his face out front. Literally.
Bennett's official department photo (shown here) now shows up on the front of the department website, and along with every Facebook post the department puts up. And Bennett already has posted his first comments on the department blog. He introduces himself as coming from a family of educators, and writes that, working together, the department, educators and families can accomplish great things for Florida schools.
"In my opinion, our students are best served in education when parents, educators, and communities communicate on issues facing our classrooms. That is why I will not use a top-down approach to Florida’s education reform. I want to hear from all Floridians because we are all stakeholders in our students’ education. My goal is to utilize the best ideas for student success regardless of their origin. The best change comes from collaboration.
"Today, I brought out the infamous student achievement scoreboard that I kept outside my office as Indiana’s State Superintendent of Public Instruction. In my new position as Florida’s Commissioner of Education, I will keep the scoreboard up as a constant reminder to me and my colleagues of the importance of accountability in measuring teacher and student success.
"Parents should feel confident that when their child graduates from high school he or she will be ready for today’s competitive environment. In turn, teachers should be praised for the tremendous work they do to transform their classrooms into launching pads for success.
"I believe that a strong accountability system must be met with a strong network of resources. Over the next few weeks, I will begin working with Florida’s school and community leaders to determine how we can create a seamless education system."
Bennett won the job in November after failing in his reelection bid for a second term as Indiana superintendent of public instruction. He'll be paid $275,000 a year to run the Florida Department of Education.