Bennett submits letter to request investigation

Letter submitted same day as resignation

INDIANAPOLIS - Tony Bennett sent a letter to the Office of the Inspector General to request a state investigation into the controversial A-F school grading system.

Bennett stepped down as Florida’s education commissioner on Aug. 1. That same day, he wrote a letter to the state’s inspector general.

He wrote 435 words that he hopes will trigger a review of the allegations he changed the letter grade of an Indianapolis charter school from a C to an A.

The school was run by a political donor.

In his letter, Bennett denied accusations that he or his staff engaged in inappropriate or unethical conduct.

“I do not believe that any 2012 Department of Education employees or I violated a state law or administrative rule,” he wrote.

He went on to explain that the emails released were a small snapshot of what was happening behind the scenes.

He described the grading process involving 13 schools that did not fit the grading system established as “long and arduous.”

Bennett went on to say that his office handled “all questions that arose in a legal, ethical and fair manner.”

The Inspector General’s Office doesn’t comment on possible, pending or ongoing investigations.

An independent group asked to review the grading system and determine if it was manipulated will provide a report to legislative leaders next week. It is officially due on Monday.

Another group called the Accountability System Review Panel will make recommendations about the grading system. The group consists of 17 people appointed by the legislature, DOE and governor’s office.

Their report is due Nov. 1.

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