New Calif. Gov. Shakes Up Education Policy
Here's an EdWeek story:
Against the backdrop of another smothering budget crisis, California Gov. Jerry Brown has quickly moved to put his stamp on the state's public schools by shaking up the state board of education and entrusting its members with more power.
In some of his first moves, the newly elected Democrat eliminated the position of education secretary—an advisory post separate from the state's elected schools chief—and canned seven members of the state board, replacing them with former school superintendents, a teachers' union activist, and a well-known Stanford University education professor.
Mr. Brown, who served as governor for two terms starting in 1976, replaced, among others, Ted Mitchell, the president of NewSchools Venture Fund; and Johnathan Xavier Williams, the founder of a charter school organization in Los Angeles. Also jettisoned was Ben Austin, a director at a Los Angeles-based nonprofit called Parent Revolution. That group is helping parents take advantage of a new state "parent trigger" law that gives them unprecedented power to turn around their own failing schools. ("'Parent Trigger' Law's Use in California Draws Controversy, National Attention," Jan. 12, 2011.)
Critics charge that the governor swapped members who were strong on teacher accountability and charter school growth in favor of school practitioners and teachers' union supporters.