Stewart’s promotion is a marked contrast to Bennett’s hiring

Monday, September 23, 2013

Pam Stewart is used to coming off the bench in a pinch for the Florida Department of Education. Now she’s joined the starting lineup.
We don’t know whether to offer her congratulations or condolences.

The state Board of Education this week voted to make Stewart the full-time commissioner of education. Stewart had been serving in an interim role since August, when Tony Bennett resigned. She previously served as interim commissioner in 2012 following the departure of Gerald Robinson.

Stewart’s promotion is a marked contrast to Bennett’s hiring, which concluded a national search for a high-profile education reformer. The ongoing instability with the position — counting interims, Florida has had five education commissioners in the last five years — might dissuade some heavy hitters from considering the job.

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