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No thanks, Bennett says

The Journal Gazette's Niki Kelly reports that state schools chief Tony Bennett won't be a candidate for a similar, appointed post in Florida.

If Bennett was reading the extensive press he received from Florida newspapers, that alone could have scared him off. It seems that even the hard-core education reformers in Florida are questioning Gov. Rick Scott's approach.

"Bennett would be crazy to come here," blogs Orlando Sentinel columnist Mike Thomas. "This is a problem Scott has created. You would think a CEO would be mindful of the need to project a stable, results-oriented management style. Instead, Scott is pinging around making irrational decisions seemed aimed more at self promotion than the best interests of his corporation — Florida."

Bennett told The Journal Gazette he was honored by the interest because Florida is considered "the center of education reform."

Maybe, but it's certainly not considered the center of achievement results. Indiana students routinely outperform Florida students on standardized assessments and on high school graduation rates.

Karen Francisco, editorial page editor for The Journal Gazette, has been an Indiana journalist since 1981. She writes frequently about education for The Journal Gazette opinion pages and here, where she looks at the business, politics and science of learning as it relates to northeast Indiana, the state and the nation. She can be reached at 260-461-8206 or by e-mail at kfrancisco@jg.net.

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