Indiana Report Finds Bennett's Grade Change 'Plausible'
The grade change of an Indiana charter school that caused controversy at the Florida Department of Education and ultimately led to former Commissioner of Education Tony Bennett's resignation has been found to be "plausible" and "consistently applied" to all schools, according to an Indiana report.
Lawmakers in Indiana had requested a review after Bennett came under fire from the Associated Press for changing the grade of a charter school founded by prominent GOP donor Christel DeHaan. The school, Christel House, originally earned a "C" grade, but then ultimately received an "A" based on the grading change, prompting speculation that Bennett had made the grade change out of political motivation.
Bennett resigned a few days after the story broke, saying the department didn't need any distractions. He admitted to changing the grade, but consistently denied any wrongdoing.
The Indiana report backs Bennett's claims.
"The efforts to 'raise the Christel House grade' was, according to a wide range of testimony, both an attempt to save the credibility of the New Accountability Model and a desire to treat a recognized good school fairly," read the report. "Any further motivations underlying these actions are beyond the scope and documentation of this report."
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