With the resignation of Alan Bersin as Secretary of Education the Schwarzenegger Administration has an important opportunity to appoint a much needed educational leader for California.
Rumors persist that he will appoint Margaret Fortune or Peter Mehas.
Will he appoint a person who can lead, or will he appoint a partisan policy advocate?
This is a real test of bi-partisanship.
A leader should be willing to look at the data and to propose new directions to respond to the several crisis in California education. A non leader would occupy the position and advance narrow ideological interests while advancing their own career. (See Kathryn Emory, Why Are the Corporations Bashing our Schools?)
Or, is there some time when a former partisan hack becomes a policy leader? We can certainly see that in the rise of former Reagan Administration actors in the Iran/Contra affair to prominent positions of foreign policy control in the administration of George W. Bush. ( see David Corn in the online version of The Nation)