Putting Education Reform To The Test

Top Three Education Commissioner Candidates On The Hot Seat Today

Cappellmeister / Flickr

The State Board of Education will interview the three finalists for Education Commissioner in Tampa today.

The State Board of Education is expected to choose Florida’s new Commissioner of Education this week.

The three finalists will be interviewed this afternoon in Tampa. They were chosen from an applicant pool of more than sixty.

Interim Commissioner Pam Stewart did not apply. She also serves as Florida’s Chancellor of Public Schools.

Stewart took over for Gerard Robinson, who abruptly resigned after a year on the job to reunite with his family in Virginia.

Here are the top three candidates:

  • Tony Bennett:  From Noblesville, IN, Bennett is the outgoing Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction. He boasts reforms under his leadership that led to higher graduation rates and greater school choice options. He lost his bid for reelection. He has degrees from Spalding University and Indiana University Southeast.
  • Randy Dunn: From Murray, KY, Dunn is President of Murray State University. He is the former Illinois Superintendent of Education, overseeing more than 2.1 million students in PreK-12. He is also a former education professor who holds degrees from Illinois State University and University of Illinois.
  • Charles Hokanson, Jr.: From Arlington, VA, Hokanson is a former U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education. He is former president of the Alliance for School Choice. He runs a public policy and management consulting group. He has degrees from Stanford University, Harvard University, and Harvard Law School.

The Tuesday interviews will be followed by the Board’s regular meeting on Wednesday.

In addition to updates on common core standards and the transition to digital learning, the Board will likely choose the next commissioner.


About StateImpact

StateImpact seeks to inform and engage local communities with broadcast and online news focused on how state government decisions affect your lives.
Learn More »