Ted Mitchell, former president of the California State Board of Education and head of a San Francisco fund that provides seed money for charter schools, was confirmed Thursday by the U.S. Senate as undersecretary of education.
Mitchell will oversee higher education and replace Martha Kanter, former chancellor of Foothill-De Anza Community College District who has served as education undersecretary for four years.
Mitchell heads the NewSchools Venture Fund, a nonprofit venture philanthropy firm that funds charter schools and other educational entrepreneurs.
Previously he was president of Occidental College in Los Angeles, vice chancellor and dean of the School of Education and Information Studies at UCLA, and education professor at Dartmouth College. He received three degrees, from bachelor's to a doctorate, from Stanford University.
His nomination was opposed by those against charter schools.
Education Secretary Arne Duncan said Mitchell was "uniquely suited for this role" and praised him for working "to foster innovation that benefits all students, especially those in underserved communities, in areas ranging from higher education to teacher preparation to education technology."
Contact Sharon Noguchi at 408-271-3775. Follow her at Twitter.com/NoguchiOnK12.