A sad bit of education news: Brian Bennett, a longtime San Diegan and a luminary in the charter school movement, passed on over the winter holidays. The Union Tribune wrote this feature on his work and impact a while ago:

In Bennett’s four decades in San Diego, he has touched countless lives as principal of Blessed Sacrament School, as chairman of the city’s Human Relations Commission, and as a force behind the birth of more than a dozen public charter schools in the United States.

Bennett once led the Office of School Choice at San Diego Unified under former Superintendent Alan Bersin, and left shortly after Carl Cohn took over the school district. He was diagnosed more than two years ago with ALS, more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. I never got to know him — he had already left San Diego Unified when I started working here — but I frequently heard him invoked as an expert on charter schools and someone I should be talking to. I wish I had talked to him more.


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