As you may be aware, Governor Kate Brown appointed me as acting deputy superintendent of public instruction on October 11. I want to share some thoughts with you during the leadership transition at the Oregon Department of Education (ODE).
First, I want to thank Dr. Salam Noor for his many years of service and dedication to ODE, both as an assistant superintendent and as the agency leader and Governor Brown’s deputy superintendent. Salam led and influenced many ODE successes, most importantly the Oregon Plan under ESSA. We owe our thanks to Dr. Noor for his impact on our education systems.
I feel privileged to represent the department and partner with you in our effort to improve outcomes for Oregon’s children and young people. I’m driven by the work we do. I cannot think of any work that is more important to the future of the individual students we serve or the future success of our state.
I have lived in Oregon my entire life. I attended our public schools, community colleges, and universities. As a student that received special education services, our education system worked for me. I believe strongly in the power of our schools and Oregon’s educators. And, this is why I strive to play a significant role in ensuring our education system works for today’s youngest and most diverse Oregonians.
I have had the opportunity to serve in Oregon’s public schools for the last 28 years.
I go about this work through collaboration and coalition building; many committed partners help to both lift and sustain our efforts. I believe we need to innovate to break through Oregon’s education outcome challenges, but innovation must be balanced with evidence and data so that we can have confidence that our efforts will better serve the students our systems are currently failing.
While a process to determine a permanent deputy superintendent is underway, we at ODE will continue to serve students and school districts. The department plays a critical role in partnering with our schools, from guiding teaching, learning, and assessment, to guarding civil rights, to financing our schools and ensuring safe transportation, to providing healthy meals and wraparound supports, and so much more. All of this mission continues.
And, we add to that mission a set of significant directives
that Governor Brown released on October 11. The directives include two overarching principles: ensuring we go about our efforts with a high standard of accountability in implementation and a strong alignment to and consistency with the Equity Lens
ODE staff will work in close collaboration with you, our communities and tribal partners, as well as across state agencies and within ODE’s offices to achieve these directives.
My aim is to partner with you and work together to meet the needs of the diverse students we serve today. Our state needs our schools to succeed, and an entire generation of students in our schools today is counting on us to deliver.
On behalf of myself and our ODE staff, I look forward to working with you to improve outcomes for all the students in our state.