Kitzhaber Will Hire Rudy Crew as Chief Education Officer

Gov. John Kitzhaber has snagged a big name to carry out his education reforms.

WW has learned Kitzhaber plans to announce that Rudy Crew is his choice for the new position of "chief education officer." The reforms Kitzhaber pushed through the 2011 Legislature included creating the position while eliminating the elected office of State Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Crew, 61, currently a professor of education at the University of Southern California, is a huge name in K-12 circles. He has previously served as the superintendent of schools in New York, Miami, Sacramento and Tacoma. Crew built a reputation as a reformer while serving in New York City as chief of the nation's largest school district from 1996 to 2000. The New York City district serves 1.1 million students, more than twice the number of public school students in Oregon.

Crew's most recent post as a superintendent, in Miami, ended in an acrimonious departure in 2008. He led the Miami district for four and one-quarter years, which is longer than the average tenure of big city superintendents. After leaving the Miami job, Crew joined the USC faculty in 2009.

Crew was not immediately available for comment. Tim Raphael, Kitzhaber's spokesman, declined comment.

The newly-created Oregon Education Investment Board is scheduled to vote on the appointment of the chief education officer when it meets May 31.