Home Back Issues July/August 2012 The man in the middle

The man in the middle

| Print |  Email
Articles - July/August 2012
Monday, July 09, 2012

BY LINDA BAKER

0712 Conversation RudyCrew
Crew is Oregon's first chief education officer, with a mandate of change.

On July 1, Rudy Crew — who has led school districts in New York City, Miami, Sacramento and Tacoma — started work as Oregon’s first chief education officer. Crew, 61 and an education professor at the University of Southern California, is charged with overseeing the transformation of Oregon’s pre-K-through-college educational institutions, with a focus on making the system more innovative and efficient. Oregon Business chatted with Crew about Oregon’s new education landscape, ongoing funding challenges and new relationships between public education, cities and the business community.

OB: You were chief of schools for some of the biggest urban districts in the country, including New York and Miami. Why come to Oregon?

What is really compelling for me is the way the governor and Legislature have formed the architecture of the system, pulling together all aspects of the different institutions. It has enormous appeal to anybody who has looked at this from the standpoint of deliverables to a community and the ability to create market demand for high- quality schooling and high-potential employees. A secondary reason is I have spent my career looking at the system from a K-12 lens. Now I’m at USC and can see the value proposition of universities in preparing leaders for the next generation.

OB: Oregon’s new education goals call for 40% of all Oregonians to have a bachelor’s degree by 2025, 40% an associate’s degree and 20% the equivalent of a high school diploma. How will the state meet these goals when funding continues to decline?

I think of it as how we see leadership taking advantage of the challenge and creating opportunity. Since we have a completely different relationship between organizations, there are some synergies useful for economies of scale. Some of it requires putting on a totally different lens. My background started out in business school. My interest is in the economics of urban education. We need to be entrepreneurial. We need to look at how technology factors into this. Some of these issues will be very thorny.

OB: Oregon’s business leaders played a big role in championing education reforms, including advocating for the job you now hold. What role do you envision for Oregon business?

I would like that advocacy role to continue. Second, there are practical issues that we need to ask the business community to work through. Students need to get acquainted with the world of work in a much more tangible and certifiable way. How do you dress for this interview: How do you think about this job? How do you access the network? I am intrigued by the idea of the business community helping frame that relationship between effort in school, learning and the marketplace. This is about scalability. This is about doing it writ large for the entire state.

OB: You say you are interested in the economics of urban education. This past May, Portland mayor Sam Adams gave city school districts $7.1 million to help prevent teacher layoffs. Should cities and schools develop closer relationships?

I applaud the mayor for having done that. It mimicked what I have been thinking about public education. There is enormous leverage that is brought by a mayor and superintendent creating a new conversation. That new conversation is what I think is going to take place in Detroit, New York and other cities. There has to be this linkage between the service that is provided and how the city uses that service to create a labor pool. If that relationship is a healthy one, then you will find newly structured relationships. You will find an ability to deliver that service so it is fully fundable and fully marketable.

OB: What can Oregonians expect from all the restructuring and relationship building?

That more people will want to be in public schools. That education may be one of the new exports that comes out of the state. That we get branded for doing education well.

 

More Articles

The global challenge

News
Friday, June 27, 2014
062714 thumb globalmarketBY JASON NORRIS | OB BLOGGER

Over the last several months we have seen a wave of cross-border acquisitions, primarily U.S.-based companies looking to purchase non-U.S.-based companies. There are a few reasons for this, but the main culprit is the U.S. corporate tax system. The United States has one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world.


Read more...

Register for 100 Best Companies survey

News
Wednesday, August 20, 2014
OBM-100-best-logo-2015 150pxwBy Kim Moore | OB Editor

The 2015 survey launched this week. It is open to for-profit private and public companies that have at least 15 full- or part-time employees in Oregon.


Read more...

Why I became an Oregon angel investor

Guest Blog
Monday, July 14, 2014
AngelInvestBY TERRY "STARBUCKER" ST. MARIE

I really didn’t know that much about angel investing, but I did know a lot about the entrepreneurial spirit.


Read more...

The Scott Kveton affair

News
Wednesday, July 09, 2014
ScottKvetonBY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

Scott Kveton, the CEO of Urban Airship is taking a leave of absence from the company. As the story continues to unfold, here’s our perspective on a few of the key players.


Read more...

Oversight? Or gaming the system?

News
Monday, July 14, 2014
AmazonBY VIVIAN MCINERNY | OB BLOGGER

Some people think Amazon’s winking eye logo is starting to look like a hoodwink.


Read more...

OB Video: Oregon MESA

News
Thursday, June 26, 2014

ThumbOregon Business hosts an informal roundtable discussion about the Oregon MESA (Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement) program.


Read more...

Green Endeavor cleans up

News
Wednesday, August 06, 2014
080614 ULnew greenendeavorBY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

Portland startup Green Endeavor strikes gold, inking a partnership with Underwriters Laboratories, an Illinois-based consulting and certification company with offices in 46 countries.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS