Really quick for a Friday, the good news for the education reform movement this week is that “Indiana’s loss turned out to be Florida’s gain.” What am I talking about? The sad news that the Hoosier State’s commissioner of education Tony Bennett lost his re-election bid is quelled by the fact he agreed to take over the same position in the only state with a longer, more comprehensive history of reform: Florida.
Bennett sat down with national education guru Rick Hess for an interview to explain how it all came together, and what sort of challenges and opportunities face him in the Sunshine State. Anyone who hoped that Bennett might have become commissioner here in Colorado can be consoled by Hess’ reminder comparing Florida’s education reform acquisition with our state’s football acquisition:
After all, it’s been a tough year for Indiana; they keep shipping homegrown stars elsewhere. This spring, the Indianapolis Colts cut ties with all-world quarterback Peyton Manning, with the Denver Broncos outbidding several other franchises for his services….
In a perfect world, I’d take both Manning and Bennett. Winning Super Bowl XLVII would be exciting enough. Winning the Super Bowl of education reform — providing more choice, opportunity, accountability, and excellent learning opportunities — would be even better! But good luck to Florida as they seek to continue their successful track record.