He's baaaaaack. Alan Bersin, deposed San Diego superintendent - a victim of a fierce union effort to undo reforms that were overturning settled ways of operating (see here) - has been named California Secretary of Education by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. The post does not have tons of direct control but it will at least give Bersin the opportunity to use the bully pulpit to shake things up. As the Christian Science Monitor notes, he will not be a wallflower. Gadfly was not 100% enthused by Bersin's reforms and some of his moves were clearly missteps (see "Lessons from San Diego," for more) but we've always admired his reformist zeal as well as his energy, intellect and integrity. With Bersin hitched to Schwarzenegger - who has his own set of reform ideas (see "Whither tenure?" for more) and a happy-warrior mentality - we predict stormy but productive days ahead in Sacramento.
"A lightning rod takes on California's schools," by Randy Dotinga, Christian Science Monitor, May 31, 2005
"Effects of unions hard to gauge, study says," by Bess Keller, Education Week, May 25, 2005