Alan Bonsteel, M.D., San Francisco
ALAN BONSTEEL was
the campaign director for one of the earliest efforts
to put educational choice before the voters of the
United States: the Coons-Sugarman initiative of 1980-1981.
He has studied systems of educational choice
in twelve countries and is California's top expert on comparative educational
He was Campaign Vice Chairman of Parents for Educational
Choice during the Prop. 174 battle for school choice in 1993 and was that
campaign's most widely published author, reaching about 12 million readers
through the editorial pages of California's newspapers.After Wilbert
Smith, he was the campaign's second
most active speaker in English, of course, but also in
fluent Spanish: he debated the issue about 30 times on Spanish-language radio
and TV programs.
To develop his skills as a public speaker,
he went to New York three months before the election to take
instruction from Roger Ailes, the media guru who had become famous for
his coaching of Ronald Reagan. He also
received instruction from Communispond, a San Francisco firm
that provides media training.
Since the election, Alan
has continued to publish voluminously in
California's newspapers and has again reached about 12 million readers
through his op-eds and letters to the editor. His efforts
to expose the systematic, gross underreporting of California's school dropout
rates reached fruition in 1999,
when the California Department of Education was
finally forced to admit its deceptive practices
and promise to tell the truth in the future.
AChoice forOur Children Curing the Crisis in America's
Schools, was written in collaboration with his friend and colleague
Carlos Bonilla, M.D., and was published in 1997 by the Institute for Contemporary
Studies. A second edition is planned.
A physician in his
professional life, Alan divides his time between family practice and
urgent care medicine, and serves several hospitals
throughout the state on a rotating basis. He is a graduate
of Dartmouth Medical School and completed an internship at
the University of California at Davis School
of Medicine and a residency in family
practice at the McGill School of Medicine in Montreal. He is the author of
a book on health care, Stay Young, Start
Now, published in 2000 by Celestial Arts.
Alan was born in 1951 in Los Angeles and now lives in San Francisco with
his wife, Chantal Charbonnean. In his spare time he plays ice hockey.
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