Tony Bennett is the Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction.
As the leader of Indiana’s public school system, Tony Bennett has been both a lightning rod for criticism and a main factor behind changes to the state’s education system for which conservatives have agitated for many years.
A former science teacher and schools administrator, Bennett won the post of Superintendent of Public Instruction in 2008, running as a Republican and garnering 51 percent of the vote. (Indiana is one of only 14 states where elections determine the chief education officer.) Since he took office, he’s been an essential force in moving forward education priorities of Gov. Mitch Daniels’ administration: school voucher programs, merit pay for teachers, and expansion of charter schools.
Bennett says this is just the start of his education overhaul. He, along with Daniels, says he is pushing to alter graduation requirements in state high schools to match more closely with graduate or career-based training.
Bennett’s success in pushing through these reforms has raised his national profile.