Rudolph F. Crew, Oregon’s chief education officer and a former New York City schools chancellor, is the third nationally prominent educator whom a CUNY search committee has selected as a finalist for the presidency of Medgar Evers College. Along with two finalists whose names were announced last week, he will meet with key stakeholders on campus this week.
The finalists include John Garland, the first president-in-residence at the Thurgood Marshall College Fund and former president of Central State University in Ohio, and Fayneese S. Miller, dean of the University of Vermont’s College of Education and Social Services and a professor of human development, educational leadership and social policy.
Background on Garland and Miller is posted at www1.cuny.edu/mu/forum/2013/05/30/finalists-for-medgar-evers-college-presidency-to-visit-campus-next-week
Crew, who became Miami-Dade public school superintendent after leaving his New York City school post, became Oregon’s first chief education officer in July 2012. Gov. John Kitzhaber charged him with revamping public education, improving Oregon’s high school graduation rate and refashioning public education from kindergarten through college into an integrated system. Soon after taking office, he ordered a third of the state’s 197 school districts to rewrite their academic goals because they had failed to seek improvement of at least one percentage point in high school graduation rates and third-grade reading and math scores.
In February he called for boosting educational achievement for the bottom 40 percent of students through greater use of technology and learning outside of class time, after school and during the summer, along with teacher-developed skill-building classes pegged to individual student needs and delivered online.
University Trustee Valerie Lancaster Beal, who chaired the University’s search committee, said, “We have an exceptionally strong trio of candidates, each of whom brings a wealth of talent and experience to the table. In the coming days, campus and community leaders will meet them and offer their input, which the chancellor will consider in making his recommendation to the Board of Trustees.”
Each will visit the campus for a daylong schedule of meetings with executive administration and deans; department chairs; higher education officers; students; and representatives from the faculty and alumni. A meet-the-candidate and community council meeting has been arranged.
The presidency of Medgar Evers College attracted a high-quality pool of more than 50 candidates, which is approximately the same number who applied for the City College of New York presidency two years ago. The University search committee selected 14 candidates for extensive interviews and approved three finalists to visit the campus.
The search committee included Trustees, the presidents of the Medgar Evers’ Community Council and the alumni association, elected student government leaders, faculty representatives and a president of a CUNY senior college.
Crew, New York City’s public schools chancellor from 1995 to 2000, taught at a career opportunity program in Massachusetts and at an alternative school in Pasadena before moving into school and district administration. He was deputy superintendent for curriculum and instruction in the Boston Public Schools from 1985 to 1987; superintendent of the Sacramento City Unified School District from 1989 to 1993; superintendent of the Tacoma School District from 1993 to 1995; and superintendent of Miami-Dade County Public Schools from 2004 to 2008. He was executive director of the Institute for K-12 Leadership at the University of Washington, Seattle, from 2000 to 2001; director of district reform initiatives at the Stupski Foundation from 2001 to 2004; president of Global Partnership Schools from 2008 to 2011; president of the K-12 division of Revolution Prep; and professor of clinical education at the University of Southern California Rossier School of Education. His book, “Only Connect: The Way to Save Our Schools,” was published in 2007.
Crew has said that his “mission is to improve student achievement, especially for poor and minority students.” He placed the lowest-performing schools in New York City and Miami in virtual districts, defined by student need, not geography, which used research-based practices to accelerate learning. In New York, he adopted curriculum standards, eliminated tenure for principals and introduced school-based budgeting. In Miami-Dade, he strengthened math instruction and created paths for more English language learners and students of color and poverty to improve the ACT and SAT scored needed for college entry. He also started Miami’s Parent Academy, which delivered courses and workshops that helped more than 100,000 parents support their children’s education.
He received a bachelor’s degree from Babson College and a master’s and doctorate in education from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
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