TALLAHASSEE (CBS4) – Florida’s education Commissioner Dr. Eric J. Smith is calling it quits.

Over the weekend Smith told members of the State Board of Education of his plans to resign on June 10, the last day of the school year.

As for the reason, Smith said because it was time for Governor Rick Scott “to have input through the State Board of Education on the type of leader to pursue his goals for education.”

“I am very proud of the significant accomplishments achieved by the hard work and aspirations of Florida’s students and educators during the past three years,” said Smith in a statement.

Among his accomplishments, Smith said Florida went from 31th (in 2007) to 5th in the nation in the 2010 Quality Counts report by Education Week which tracks state policies and performance across key areas of education. He also noted that Florida’s graduation rate climbed to 79 percent in 2010, a new high for the state with significant increases for minority students.

“I thank the state of Florida for the privilege and honor to have served as its Education Commissioner. There always will be a special place in my family’s heart for this blessed state and its students,” said Smith.

The state’s Board of Education, which is comprised of appointments by the governor, will make the decision on Smith’s replacement.


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