Leader Pelath Responds to Bennett resignation

August 1, 2013 Scott Pelath

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

August 1, 2013

INDIANAPOLIS –Indiana House Democratic Leader Scott Pelath of Michigan City today issued the following statement regarding former Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett’s resignation as Florida’s education commissioner:

“Considering the revelations of the past few days, it is only appropriate that Tony Bennett step down.

“But the fact that he was stopped down south doesn’t undo what he did the past four years here.

“The ‘A-F’ grading system has never been about shared and common sense accountability. It’s about telling a story that someone wants us to hear in order to make someone else’s political dreams come true. In Indiana, that dream has been a nightmare for many struggling traditional schools forced to compete against selected favorites.

“The swath of this scandal is deep and wide. Property values plummet. Businesses relocate. People lose jobs. Kids give up. The investigation and ultimate righting of this wrong must be a priority of all branches of government.

“I know that Senate President Pro Tempore David Long (R-Fort Wayne) has called for an independent third party audit of Indiana’s school grading system. I support that call, and urge that it take place as soon as possible.

“Let me be clear on one other thing.

“Hoosiers support accountability in our schools. They admire ingenuity and passion in education.

“But they also support fairness, especially when it comes to how we treat our kids.

“The ‘A-F’ system needs serious rethinking, and it starts with ending the stories and accepting that education is hard work with no magic answers.”