Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Ritz Will Review Bennett School Grades; Long Calls Grade Manipulation "Completely Unacceptable"

In the light of the revelations of Tony Bennett's manipulation of his own A-F grading system for schools, Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz says her Department of Education is examining the current A-F grade calculations "to ensure that every school has the grade they earned in 2012; nothing more, nothing less." Meanwhile, Bennett maintains that he urged changes in the grading system because he thought it was flawed: "It is absurd that anyone would believe that I would change the grade of a school based on a political donor or trying to hide schools from accountability. That's fictitious at best and it's totally unfounded." Read the emails, folks; it's absurd to believe anything else.

Happily, Bennett's disingenuous claims aren't selling too well. Republican Senate Pro Tem David Long is calling for annual third-party audits of the A-F grades: "The big issue is the fact that it would appear one or more school's grade was manipulated. That's completely unacceptable. . . . If there's one thing that can't be allowed, it's that any school grades can ever be allowed to be manipulated again." And Pioneer Institute executive director Jim Stergios said Bennett should resign his new position as Florida's education commissioner for violating the trust of Indiana students and parents. "All you have as an official is your credibility. And that people trust you to do the right thing. He has been entrusted with the hopes of parents and the aspirations of children. That's a sacred trust."

Read more reactions to the Bennett school grading scandal here.