In his first Cabinet-level appointment, Gov.-elect Gray Davis of California has tapped former state Sen. Gary K. Hart to be his secretary of child development and education.
Mr. Hart has spent the past five years as a co-director of the California State University Institute for Education Reform, a nonprofit policy-research group in Sacramento.
Before that, Mr. Hart, a Democrat, represented Santa Barbara and Ventura counties in the state legislature for 20 years--12 of which he spent as the chairman of the Senate education committee. Mr. Hart also helped write the state's original charter school law.
In his new post, Mr. Hart, an ex-teacher, will advise the governor on school policy issues.
"Restoring California's schools to greatness will be the cornerstone of my administration," Mr. Davis said during a Nov. 30 news briefing. "I can think of no one more qualified to assist me in changing the course of education than Gary Hart."
Mr. Hart now serves on a panel named recently by Mr. Davis, a fellow Democrat and currently the lieutenant governor, to help craft his legislative agenda.
State Chiefs' Priorities
Strategies to improve teacher quality and offer more remedial services for underachieving students should be top priorities in school reform, the Council of Chief State School Officers says.
The CCSSO recently adopted guidelines for schools to help improve the quality of teachers and administrators. But students must be intellectually stimulated and motivated to learn for any reform to be effective, a second policy statement concludes.
That means districts should invest in early-development programs and extended class time, the council says, and find ways to motivate students to perform well in their coursework and on standardized tests.
The council's five strategies for better teachers include: active recruitment of teachers and other school officials, better standards for licensure, and support for new teachers and principals.
The Washington-based CCSSO adopted the two separate position statements at its annual meeting in Madison, Wis., last month.
--Robert C. Johnston & Joetta L. Sack
Vol. 18, Issue 15, Page 20Published in Print: November 25, 1998, as State Journal