What Mitch Daniels Whining About Tony Bennett’s Ouster Tells Us

So Indiana governor Mitch Daniels says that teachers cheated in the election which removed controversial education boss Tony Bennett from office. From Maureen Groppe and Scott Elliott of Gannett News Service:

Republican frustration over the election defeat of Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett boiled over into the public this week with Gov. Mitch Daniels claiming at an education reform conference here that teachers used illegal and improper methods to oust Bennett.

“If you’re a fan of anything-goes politics, it was a creative use of illegal — but still creative use — of public resources,” Daniels said Wednesday at a Washington, D.C., meeting of the Foundation for Excellence in Education, a group led by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

“We got emails sent out on school time by people who were supposed to be teaching someone at the time, all about Tony Bennett. We have parents who went to back-to-school night to find out how little Jebbie is doing and instead they got a diatribe about the upcoming election.”

Mitch Daniels has decided to forgo politics in favor of a cushy job as Purdue University’s president, but these sort of sour grapes will eliminate you from presidential consideration. It’s why Jeb Bush has no shot at the job. Ed reform rocks stars like Daniels, Bush and Bennett live in an echo chamber and feels that everyone just agrees with them and that opposition is driven by evil selfishness. The president of Indiana’s teacher association easily dismisses Daniels’ accusations.

The governor wasn’t in any schools to see any of those things happen,” said Nate Schnellenberger, president of the Indiana State Teachers Association.

In fact, Schnellenberger said, it was Bennett who filmed a campaign commercial inside a school

“I would characterize (Daniels’ remarks) as sour grapes,” Schnellenberger said. “I would think that the governor, being a politician, would understand that in every election there are  winners and losers, and in this election more than 1.3 million voters in Indiana — far more than our membership of 40,000 — voted for Glenda Ritz.”

Daniels is clearly in denial after a  defeat at the ballot box for the rock stars. Bennett, who wants to continue his US tour in Florida still hasn’t applied for the ed commish slot. It may be that he knows Rick Scott doesn’t want another divisive lightening rod running his mouth all over the state like he had in Gerard Robinson. And having another ed commissioner who’s more loyal to Jeb Bush than to the governor of the state he works in probably isn’t the least bit appealing to Scott.

If the shrill, Bush-led education cabal doesn’t read the political tea leaves – Bennett’s defeat came in a red state –  their judgement will come under more scrutiny.


About Bob Sikes

A long time ago and a planet far, far away I was an athletic trainer for the New York Mets. I was blessed to be part of the now legendary 1986 World Series Championship. My late father told me that I'd one day be thankful I had that degree in teaching from Florida State University. He was right and I became twice blesses to become a teacher in the late 1990's. After dabbling with writing about the Mets and then politics, I settled on education.
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2 Responses to What Mitch Daniels Whining About Tony Bennett’s Ouster Tells Us

  1. Teacher111 says:

    ” Ed reform rocks stars like Daniels, Bush and Bennett live in an echo chamber and feels that everyone just agrees with them and that opposition is driven by evil selfishness.”

    That is absolutely right. When I make comments on a newspaper site defending public education (making sure only to attack the idea/belief and not individuals), I get the most personally insulting comments in return with almost no direct response to my actual comments.

    • Mark Coonan says:

      That’s because they’re spouting canned talking points, untrammeled by any insights of their own about education.

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