Pam Stewart Named Florida's Education Commissioner
Back in August, when Florida's State Board of Education named Pam Stewart interim president for the second straight year following consecutive epic fails by the acting education chiefs, we here at the Pulp threw out the idea that, hey, why not hire Stewart full-time?
AND APPARENTLY THEY LISTENED!
Anyway, we'll take credit.
Stewart was named to the position full-time on Tuesday.
Stewart had been serving as chancellor of the education system and has been with the department for several years. She was a finalist to become superintendent of Manatee County schools last year.
But then, in 2012, she was called in to replace then-Education Chief Gerard Robinson, who resigned after serving for a year after FCAT scores collapsed, and his tenure was involved with a school grades mix-up after the department had to reissue grades for more than 200 elementary and middle schools throughout several districts because of discrepancies in the grading system.
Robinson resigned for "family reasons," but his tenure was a complete flop.
Stewart stepped in for about six months before Tony Bennett was hired.
But, turns out, Bennett was just as terrible at his job as Robinson was, and he too resigned after allegations of his changing a charter school's grade in Indiana to benefit a big-money-bags Republican donor cropped up.
So Stewart was called in after an emergency meeting and was asked to be the interim president again while the State Board of Education looked for a replacement.
Here's what we wrote at the time:
Here's a thought: Why not just give Stewart the job full-time, since she very obviously is the go-to person when the head guy screws up?
Unless the board is looking for the crappy education chief hat-trick and wants to hire yet another guy who doesn't know how to handle school grades, which is essentially the entire job description.
Good thing someone over at the Board of Education reads the Pulp, because that there is a fine idea that has come to fruition.
Stewart is stepping into a crappy situation. The state's education system hasn't exactly been flourishing, and then it hired back-to-back failures to run things, not to mention the entire system is a damned mess.
But Stewart seems to be legit and should be able to kick butts and get things back in line for the state's education system.
"This is a new day," Stewart said Tuesday. "It's time to move forward, and I'm prepared to provide the leadership needed."