Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber's pick for the state’s new education chief is so far winning praise from school leaders. But Rudy Crew’s lengthy career includes many clashes with local school officials.
Kitzhaber wants Crew to be in charge of re-shaping the state's education system from pre-school through college. Crew has worked in some of the nation's largest school districts, such as New York, Miami and Tacoma. Crew says he knows he has a challenge ahead of him in Oregon.
"It starts by people of goodwill putting their shoulder to a wheel that is new and different and in some cases somewhat ambiguous," he says. "We're going to have to live with a degree of ambiguity about this. Nothing wrong with trying and ultimately saying 'you know, wrong road.' We gotta try it again and again and again."
The position Crew would hold if confirmed this week by a state panel was created last year by the Oregon legislature. Lawmakers voted at the same time to phase out the non-partisan elected office of state school superintendent. That job is currently held by Susan Castillo. She issued a statement praising Crew’s selection.
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