On December 12, the Florida State Board of Education selected Dr. Tony Bennett as the state’s new Commissioner of Education. Elected as the former Superintendent of Indiana’s public schools in 2009, Dr. Bennett was responsible for increasing the graduation rate above 85%, implementing A-F school grades, and implementing the Indiana Growth model, which is a measure of students’ progress.
Tony Bennett plans on improving the Florida K-12 education system and will focus on Governor Scott’s Career and College FIRST (Focusing Investments on Results for Students and Teachers) program. This program was designed to prepare students for future success in college and careers.
Governor Scott, pleased with the board’s choice, made it clear that he expects Dr. Bennett to drive the College and Career FIRST initiative. This agenda revolves around three main goals that have been described as follows.
GOAL #1: Maintain accountability while focusing on the successful transition to more rigorous Common Core State Standards and assessments, which better measure readiness for college and career
GOAL #2: Support teachers and equip them with the tools they need to improve their practice as professionals and to help students realize better educational outcomes
GOAL #3: Allow choices and flexibility in districts, schools and classrooms that recognize the unique needs of students and teachers and support efforts to achieve improved results
For more information on Florida’s College and Career FIRST program, please visit http://www.flgov.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/College-and-Career-1st-FINAL.pdf.
You may also want to read the Department of Education Press Release naming Tony Bennett Commissioner of Education at http://www.flgov.com/2012/12/12/state-board-of-education-names-tony-bennett-as-commissioner-of-education/.