Former Tennessee Gov. Lamar Alexander took his ceremonial oath as the nation's fifth secretary of education on Friday, and President Bush enlisted the chairman of the Xerox Corp. to become Alexander's top deputy.

Bush announced that Xerox Chairman David Kearns would be nominated for the post of undersecretary at the department.Alexander, 50, thanked Bush "for giving me one of the most exciting opportunities in America - helping him be the `education president."' Bush saluted Alexander's experience.

And "Lamar Alexander understands that real reform, real restructuring of American education can only take place at the state and local level," the president said.