For charter school supporters, there were few better champions than Tony Bennett (Associated Press). As Indiana’s schools chief, he installed a school grading system that shortened the time it took to sweep aside a failing public school in favor of a charter. In Florida, he backed a bill — though unsuccessfully — that could have made it easier for parents to get charters in place at failing schools. He also pushed through a rules change that benefited both charter schools and traditional public schools by limiting how far any school’s rating could drop in a single year. Now, Bennett has them nervous. Russ Simnick ran a charter high school in Indianapolis from 2005 to 2008. Now senior director for state advocacy for the National Alliance of Public Charter Schools, Simnick said the Bennett affair could bolster the perception that charter school grades are vulnerable to political influence. But he said that’s not what happened. “He was not acting at the bequest of the charter school community,” Simnick said. “I think that’s been missed in this whole story.”