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Florida Education Chief Resigns Amidst Grading Scandal

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

Associated Press Release
By: GARY FINEOUT

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- Florida's education commissioner has announced his resignation.

Tony Bennet's announcement Thursday came three days after The Associated Press revealed he had changed the grade of a charter school run by a major Republican donor during his previous job as Indiana's school chief.

He again denied wrongdoing but said he didn't want to be a distraction to Florida Gov. Rick Scott's efforts to overhaul the state's education system.

Emails published by the AP this week show that Bennett and his Indiana staff scrambled last fall to ensure Christel DeHaan's school received an A, despite poor 10th-grade algebra scores that initially earned it a C.

Bennett lost his re-election bid last November in Indiana. He was hired by Florida in December.


Associated Press Release
By: GARY FINEOUT

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- A Florida education official says the state's education commissioner will resign because of allegations he changed a charter school's grade during his previous job as Indiana's school chief.

The official told The Associated Press of Tony Bennett's resignation on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to disclose the information before a formal announcement. The official says Bennett will resign because of the scandal surrounding Christel House Academy, an Indiana charter school run by a major Republican donor.

Emails published by the AP this week show Bennett and his Indiana staff scrambled last fall to ensure Christel DeHaan's school received an "A," despite poor 10th grade algebra scores that initially earned it a "C."

Bennett lost his re-election bid last November in Indiana. He was hired by Florida in December.


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