Rudy Crew, a former head of school systems in both New York City and Miami-Dade County, Fla., has been appointed Oregon’s first chief education officer, which gives him expansive power to oversee all facets of education from preschool to college under Gov. John Kitzhaber’s plan to streamline the state education system.
Mr. Crew, the National Superintendent of the Year in 2008 and an education professor at the University of Southern California since 2009, was chancellor of the 1 million-student New York City public school system from 1995 to 2000. He left after clashing with then-Mayor Rudolph Giuliani.
Mr. Crew was the superintendent of the Miami-Dade County district, a 350,000-student system, from 2004-2008, but was ousted from that job after conflict with the school board.
In both New York and Miami, he was credited with implementing programs to turn around low-performing schools by selecting school populations based on student needs rather than geographic boundaries.
Mr. Crew also was a founder of Global Partnership Schools, an educational consultancy based in New York City, and earlier this year was named president of Revolution K12, an adaptive-learning-software company based in Santa Monica, Calif. (“Q&A: Rudy Crew’s Public-Private Ed. Perspective,” February 8, 2012.)
The Oregon legislature created the chief education officer position last year when lawmakers approved Gov. Kitzhaber’s plan to improve coordination among disparate elements of the education system. The chief education officer will eventually have control over the leaders of the state education department, the university system, the community colleges commission, and other state agencies. The chief is hired by the new Education Investment Board, whose members were selected by the Democratic governor.
The position of state superintendent of public instruction, now held by Susan Castillo, will be eliminated either in 2015 when her term expires or if she leaves earlier. The governor will then become the head of public instruction.
A version of this article appeared in the June 06, 2012 edition of Education Week as Rudy Crew Named to Top Oregon Education Post