May 6, 2005

The Public Forum . . . El Foro Publico

The New Ed. Secretary Has No Clothes On

With the recent resignation of Richard Riordan as State Education Secretary, you and your paper need to prepare yourself and your readers for an equally horrifying replacement (for parents, children, and teachers)—outgoing San Diego City Schools Superintendent (SDCS), Alan Bersin.

As you probably well know, the Bersin appointment happened because of Eli Broad, his financial clout (statewide and nationally), and his obsession to make Mr. Bersin a national “education” superstar—in the furtherance of Mr. Broad’s own agenda, i.e., the deconstruction of American public education (via more charter schools, vouchers, home schooling), the corporatization of American public schools (“competition makes for better products”), and the diminishment of all teachers unions.

As most education reporters know, Mr. Bersin is a “Bill Clinton Democrat” and very much has his eye on Education Secretary in a Hillary Clinton White House. What most reporters and most of California (and American) readers don’t know is what a disaster Mr. Bersin’s policies have been for the parents, children, and all employees of SDCS.

Mike MacCarthy
Voters For Truth in Education (VOTE)
San Diego

Senator Ducheny Critical of Bersin Appointment

The Governor has shown questionable judgment in his selection of Alan Bersin as California’s new Secretary of Education. Bersin’s legacy as Superintendent of San Diego Unified School District has been one of divisiveness. His controversial approach combined with his narrow focus on test scores has angered both teachers and parents.

To make matters worse, there is still no credible evidence that his so-called “reforms” made any significant impact on student test scores. What is undeniable is that the San Diego School Board ousted Bersin from his position with one year remaining in his contract.

This appointment makes even less sense given the Governor’s waning credibility on education issues. Our schools, the teachers, administrators, staff and the students and their parents deserve nothing less than proven leadership, a positive vision for improving California’s education system. We need a leader who will include teachers and parents in the development of strategies to improve the learning environment of our schools and better prepare our future workforce.

They will get none of that from Alan Bersin.

State Senator Ducheny
San Diego

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