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It was the State Board of Education's first meeting of the year today in Sacramento, and who should drop by but Gov. Jerry Brown.

The governor talked informally about education policy, telling the members he's sometimes wary of reform.

"I sometimes call myself a reformed reformer. ... Everything that people propose, they call it reform. That doesn't mean it's change," Brown said.

"I don't expect any silver bullets," he added. "I see a lot of fashion in educational theories and practices."

Brown also mentioned that critics of some of his picks had equated experience to "has-been."

"Well, I'm probably 'has-been' more than anybody around here," Brown said. Still, he added, "I'll be looking for some younger appointees, too, along the way. I don't want everyone to be on Medicare that I appoint."

Earlier, members picked the board's president: Michael Kirst, a Stanford education professor who has had a long relationship with Brown, who first appointed Kirst to the State Board of Education back in 1975.

Speaking of longevity, Brown told the board he'd gotten a congratulatory letter recently from his fifth-grade teacher, Sister Rosine. At his elementary school, he said, students had the same teacher for fifth, sixth and seventh grades.

"Actually I didn't like it because they knew too much about you," Brown said to laughter.

Check out a video of Brown's informal remarks posted on the Department of Education's website at this link. The video is closed captioned.


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