Monday, January 10, 2011

Bill Honig Withdraws Name as State Board of Education Appointee

Bill Honig Withdraws Name as State Board of Education Appointee
January 10, 2011

Former state schools chief Louis "Bill" Honig, has withdrawn his nomination to the state Board of Education, Gov. Jerry Brown's office announced today.
Honig, one of seven appointed to the board announced by Brown last week, resigned as state Superintendent of Public Instruction in 1993 after he was convicted of felony conflict-of-interest charges. The charges, which involved authorizing state funds for schools to hire his wife's nonprofit group, were later reduced to misdemeanors.
A release announcing Honig's decision does not specify why he decided to withdraw his name. Brown had defended his decision to appoint Honig, who had also served on the board during his first go-round as governor.
"I've known him, I've known his family," Brown said last week. "He has the kind of knowledge of the bureaucracy of education, as well as education policy. I think he's acquitted himself well in recent years. I think people can be confident that he has a contribution to make."
Brown nominated Dr. Ilene W. Straus, Beverly Hills Unified School District assistant superintendent for educational services, to fill the post. Straus, who has also worked in the Santa Monica school district, is a Democrat, according to the release.


Also note: T
he updated agenda for the California State Board of Education meeting this week is available at (A number of items have been withdrawn from the January meeting agenda due to the recent SBE membership shake-up.) 

Friday, January 7, 2011

3 Opportunities for Mathematics and Science

From the U.S. Department of Education (ED). Please share with those you believe might be interested. These opportunities are not restricted to MSP (Mathematics and Science Partnership) participants. Others are eligible to apply.


The following opportunities may be of interest.

NASA Summer of Innovation: Consider applying for the 2011 Summer of Innovation (SoI), an intensive STEM teaching and learning program that targets middle school students and middle school teachers. For more information, click here.

SSP Fellows Program: The SSP Fellows 2011 application period is now open. This is your chance to be one of ten high school teachers competitively selected from across the country. The SSP Fellows Program provides funds and training to selected U.S. science and math teachers who serve under-resourced students, to enable interested and motivated students to perform high-quality independent scientific research. For more information, click here.

NSF Computing Education for the 21st Century: The National Science Foundation (NSF) has a new program, called Computing Education for the 21st Century (CE21). The intent of CE21 is to fund collaborations that include expertise in computer science education, broadening participation in computing, and research on teaching and learning. A meeting will be held on January 31-February 1 in New Orleans, and travel funds are available for a limited number of attendees. For more information, click here.

These materials can also be found in the What's New box on the MSP home page

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Gov. Brown's Appointments to the California State Board of Education

Earlier today, Governor Brown announced the following seven appointments to the California State Board of Education (SBE): Carl Anthony Cohn (Palm Springs), Bill Honig (Marin), Michael Kirst (Stanford), Aida Molina (Bakersfield), James Ramos (San Bernardino), Patricia Ann Rucker (Elk Grove), and Trish Boyd Williams (San Jose).

A SBE source provided the following information (unconfirmed) about the Board members whose terms either ended today or who are continuing (

* Current members Ruth Bloom [current SBE Vice President] and Johnathan Williams will be in attendance at the January 12-14, 2011 Board meeting, but their terms are up after that meeting.
* The terms of the following Board Members have ended as of today, and they will not be returning (or participating in the January 12-14, 2011 Board meeting):
- Ted Mitchell [current SBE President]
- David Lopez
- Alan Arkatov
- Ben Austin
- James Fang
[These five members were appointed/reappointed by Gov. Schwarzenegger last year but had not been confirmed by the Senate, which wanted to give the new governor the power to establish his own education team.]
* The current Members who remain on the Board at this time are:
- Yvonne Chan
- Gregory Jones
- Jim Aschwanden
- Connor Cushman (Student Member)
* In addition to the four current Members remaining, the seven newly appointed Members will also be attending the January Board meeting. 

Bios follow below for Governor Brown's State Board of Education appointments (boldface added). All are registered Democrats.
Dr. Carl Anthony Cohn (Palm Springs) -- He has been a Professor and the Co-Director of the Urban Leadership Program at Claremont Graduate University since 2009. Previously, Cohn served as the Superintendent of Schools for the San Diego Unified School District from 2005 to 2007. He was a Clinical Professor with the Rossier School of Education at the University of Southern California from 2002 to 2005 and the Superintendent of Schools for the Long Beach Unified School District from 1992 to 2002. Cohn is a member of the Association of California School Administrators.

Louis "Bill" Honig (Marin) -- He has been President of the Consortium on Reading Excellence since 2005. Previously, Honig served as a Visiting Distinguished Professor at San Francisco State University's School of Education from 1993 to 1998. He was the Superintendent of Public Instruction from 1983 to 1993. Honig previously served on the California State Board of Education under Governor Brown from 1975 to 1983. [See]
Dr. Michael Kirst (Stanford) -- He currently serves as a Professor Emeritus at Stanford University, where he has taught since 1969.   Previously, Kirst served on the California State Board of Education under Governor Brown from 1975 to 1982. Kirst also served as the Director of Program Planning for the U.S. Office of Education and was Staff Director for the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Manpower, Employment, and Poverty from 1967 to 1969. 
Aida Molina (Bakersfield) -- She has served as the Executive Director on Academic Improvement and Accountability for Bakersfield City School District since 2005.   Previously, Molina was a Commissioner with the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing from 2004 to 2007.  Molina was a principal with Bakersfield City School District from 2001 to 2005, an elementary school principal with the Sacramento Unified School District from 1999 to 2001, an assistant principal with the Galt Joint Union Elementary School District from 1997 to 1999, and a bilingual teacher from 1992 to 1997.  Molina is a member of the Association of School Administrators and the California Association of Bilingual Educators. 
James Ramos (San Bernardino) -- Ramos has served as the Chairman for the San Manuel Band of Indians since 2008, having previously served as Treasurer, as a member of the Business Committee, and as Chairman of the Tribe's Gaming Commission. Ramos was re-elected in 2010 as a member of the San Bernardino Community College Board of Trustees, where he has served since 2005. He has served as a member and chairperson of the Native American Heritage Commission since 2007.
Patricia Ann Rucker (Elk Grove) -- Since 2008, she has worked as the Legislative Advocate for the California Teachers Association and was a consultant for the California Teachers Association on instruction and professional development from 1997 to 2008. She also served as a teacher in the Del Paso Heights School District from 1983 to 1997.
Trish Boyd Williams (San Jose) -- She has served as the Executive Director for EdSource since 1992. Previously, Williams served as a program consultant to the Director for the Oklahoma Commission on Children and Youth from 1983 to 1990, and as a Presidential Management Intern and then a Management Analyst for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services from 1979 to 1982.
State Board of Education appointments require Senate confirmation.