Did Bennett change Ind. grading system to improve donor's ranking?
- The Associated Press reported Monday that Florida Education Commissioner Tony Bennett, while serving as Indiana's state education chief, rushed to overhaul that state's school grading system in order to change the letter grade of Christel House Academy—a charter school operated by influential Republican donor Christel DeHaan—from a "C" to an "A."
- Since 1998, DeHaan has donated over $2.8 million to Republicans—$130,000 of which went to Bennett—but she says she never asked for any special treatment, and Bennett contended to the Times/Herald Monday that something would have been wrong with the grading system if Christel House, a top-performing school, received a "C."
- Bennett's effort to change the grade is documented in e-mails released by the AP Monday, and the revelation comes as he fights doubts in that state as school grades fall despite a "safety net" being put in place.
From the article:
... In one email, Bennett wrote, "They need to understand that anything less than an 'A' for Christel House compromises all of our accountability work."
In another, he wrote, "This will be a HUGE problem for us." ...
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