Nancy Golden, replacing Rudy Crew as Oregon education chief, aims to 'start fast'

Lauren Williams's picture
Monday, September 30, 2013

Veteran Oregon educator Nancy Golden was unanimously ushered into the state's top education job Friday by Gov. John Kitzhaber and his overarching education board.

Golden is Oregon's second chief education officer, charged with remaking education from preschool through grad school to dramatically increase how many Oregonians become well-educated. She follows Rudy Crew, who spent only a year in the post and became better known for frequent travel than leaving a lasting impact.

The Oregon Education Investment Board, appointed and chaired by Kitzhaber, voted 11-0 to hire Golden after a search that went no further than her. Golden, 62, has been in the job on an interim basis since July and chaired the education board whenever Kitzhaber was absent for a year before that.

Golden, who will make $225,000 a year, becomes the point person for the state to pursue its goal of having all students complete high school and 80 percent earn college credentials by 2025. Currently, Oregon's high school graduation rate is one of the worst in the nation and dead last for white students. And only 61 percent of those who do get diplomas even try college.

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