Where did the agreement between San Jose State University and Silicon Valley's Udacity Inc. to provide online courses get its start?
Online, of course.
The pilot program's foundation was laid in June, Udacity's Sebastian Thrun said Tuesday, when he awoke to find "in my inbox an email from a guy named Jerry Brown."
The governor followed up with a telephone call a few minutes later, Thrun said.
Thrun was standing behind Brown, beaming, at an event in San Jose touting the agreement. He is a part-time research professor of computer science at Stanford University and a fellow at Google.
Brown might have chosen to contact any of three leaders in the offerings of MOOCs, or massive open online courses.
"I was reading the New York Times on the weekend, since I don't take it during the week," Brown told reporters, "and I saw his name, and it looked interesting to me, so I just went online, found out his email and sent him an email."
The governor said he looked at the other providers, Coursera and edX, but "wherever it was, I got to his email quicker."
"I said, 'Give me a call,' " Brown said. "And then I found his number."
Gov. Jerry Brown has named the interim executive director and former advocate for the Association of California School Administrators as executive director of the State Board of Education. Karen Stapf Walters will also advise the governor on education policy in her new role, which pays $175,000 a year. The board must OK the executive director appointment.
Torey Van Oot
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