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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Gov. Rick Scott says Tony Bennett is 'doing a great job'

Gov. Rick Scott and Florida Education Commissioner Tony Bennett met with superintendents, teachers and principals from around the state in December.

EDMUND D. FOUNTAIN | Times

Gov. Rick Scott and Florida Education Commissioner Tony Bennett met with superintendents, teachers and principals from around the state in December.

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July

After a couple days of radio silence about the scandal involving Florida's education commissioner, Gov. Rick Scott finally has something to say. He told Channel 5 in West Palm Beach that Tony Bennett is "doing a great job."

Scott praised Bennett for being "very focused on accountability" and reiterated how well Florida's students are doing. Scott didn't say whether Bennett's job is secure, however. See the interview here. Scott has been through several education commissioners during his tenure as governor.

Bennett has been defending himself all week against an Associated Press report that he changed the grade for a charter school in Indiana run by a prominent Republican donor. See our story here.

Bennett told reporters Tuesday that he's gotten a lot of support from legislators and those in the governor's office. Former Gov. Jeb Bush's foundation put out a statement of support Tuesday. Rick Hess posted Wednesday his own interview with Bennett.

Two Democratic lawmakers called Wednesday for Bennett to resign.

Scott's comments to Channel 5 are similar to a statement released by his communications director, Melissa Sellers: 

"Commissioner Bennett is clearly committed to making Florida’s education system the best in the nation. He has been a leader in increasing accountability, ensuring teachers are fairly evaluated, securing a teacher pay raise and investing an additional one billion dollars in education funding this year."

[Last modified: Thursday, August 1, 2013 4:52am]

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