Tony Bennett defends himself against report he changed donor's school grade in Indiana
Times/Herald staff writers Cara Fitzpatrick and Kathleen McGrory team on a story following the great Associated Press investigation on Florida Education Commissioner Tony Bennett. Emails obtained by AP showed a behind-the-scenes effort to alter the grade for Christel House Academy, despite questions from Bennett's staff about whether such a move was legal. An excerpt from the Times/Herald story:
Bennett told the Times/Herald Monday that Christel House was among the top-performing charter schools in Indiana. If it hadn't earned an A, that meant something was wrong with the entire grading system, he said.
"It had nothing to do with politics," he said.
Bennett said that Indiana was in the midst of finalizing its school grading formula when the email exchange took place. He said he had hoped to use high-performing schools like Christel House to calibrate the system.
"We needed to make sure the school grades reflected how the schools really performed," he said.