A Staff Veteran Returns to ECS
Vice President Believes Group is Back on Track
Kathy Christie has come full circle.
Five months ago, she resigned as the vice president of the Education Commission of the States, setting off a series of events that resulted in the departure of the group’s president and an effort to redefine its mission.
Ms. Christie, 58, returned to the ECS on Oct. 9, picking up right where she left off when she resigned in May.
In an interview last week, Ms. Christie said she returned because she still believes the Denver-based group has an important role to play in helping state policymakers understand what they can do to improve schools.
“I think it got people’s attention,” Ms. Christie said of her resignation.
In her May 1 resignation letter to ecs trustees, she said that then-President Piedad F. Robertson hadn’t been forthright in describing the group’s financial health, and that she questioned whether Ms. Robertson could lead the group out of its problems.
Ms. Robertson announced over the summer that she would leave the ecs when her contract expired Feb. 1, but later decided to leave last month.
Ms. Christie said Roderick G.W. Chu, the interim president, invited her back to resume her longtime role of overseeing the group’s clearinghouse on state education policies.
“He has a huge focus on looking at what our constituents need in the formats they can access and find it,” she said.
She also said she’s excited about an ad hoc committee’s ideas to revitalize the ECS, which include opening a Washington office and figuring out how mayors, superintendents, and school board members could use the organization’s work. ("Panel Urges ECS to Expand Presence, Focus," Sept. 13, 2006.)
Even so, Ms. Christie said she enjoyed her 5½ months away from the ecs. During that time, she did some education consulting, but mostly worked around her house and visited family.
“I hadn’t had a nice break in a long time,” she said. “I thoroughly enjoyed my summer.”
Vol. 26, Issue 8, Page 16