Putting Education Reform To The Test

What Education Experts Said About Tony Bennett’s Resignation

The Oscar Wilde statue in Dublin. Wilde was almost as quotable as some of the education experts in this month's Whiteboard Advisors survey.

Stephane Moussie / Flickr

The Oscar Wilde statue in Dublin. Wilde was almost as quotable as some of the education experts in this month's Whiteboard Advisors survey.

Every month, Washington, D.C.-based education policy firm Whiteboard Advisors anonymously survey “insiders” about their views on education issues.

August’s survey is all about former Florida Education Commissioner Tony Bennett.

Whiteboard’s insiders were evenly split — 50/50 — on whether Bennett should have resigned.

Whiteboard also asked about the effect Bennett’s resignation will have on Common Core State Standards, whether Florida will ditch the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers and other issues — and that’s where the fun starts. Even usually boring eduwonks can become as quotable as Oscar Wilde when granted anonymity.

You can read the full survey here, but this is a sampling of the most interesting questions and answers:

What does Tony Bennett’s resignation mean for Common Core, if anything?

  • Not much. More of a problem for the A-F system.
  • Two problems: Emboldens the foes even more. Puts FL’s continued assessment participation in jeopardy.
  • What did Stonewall Jackson’s 1863 death mean for the Confederacy? A force already on the ropes loses a major leader.
  • Bad news since Scott is a wimp.
  • Not great, but other chiefs can carry it across the finish line.


Will Tony Bennett’s resignation have any impact on Florida remaining in PARCC?

  • Jeb Bush and his Foundation for Excellence in Education will work hard to keep Florida in PARCC
  • He was the state’s bulwark, the conservative protecting participation in common assessments. And now the Vandals sack Rome.
  • Teetering before he left, likely now.
  • Governor Scott seems to be looking for an exit and that’s a lot easier with Bennett out of the picture.


What are your impression over the events that led to Tony Bennett resigning?

  • Considering the AFT’s FOIA request, I think it is a coordinated attack against reformers.
  • There’s more to the story than what happened in Indiana. Tony had created problems for himself in Florida.
  • It’s a sad demise. He was an important leader. He’ll continue on in the field, but never again in a position of such public visibility. Bennett made a fatal error. Leaders in positions of public trust should never alter results without due public process.
  • This is the real-world of policy-making, warts and all, not a gauzy Aaron Sorkin production.



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