New education commissioner begins work on Monday

MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) — Florida's new education commissioner comes to the state with a reputation as a hard-charging, union-battling advocate for change from his time as Indiana schools chief.

Tony Bennett's policies were similar to those pushed in Florida by former Gov. Jeb Bush.

Bush is a friend and supporter of Bennett's. Their shared agenda includes private school vouchers, charter schools, tough accountability standards, high-stakes testing and teacher pay based on annual evaluations.

But Bennett's style didn't sit well with Indiana voters. In November, they voted the Republican out of office after one term.

Bennett may fare better when he begins his new job on Monday. Florida already has adopted many of the changes he had fought for in Indiana.

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