PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Oregon schools chief Salam Noor has resigned after less than 2 ½ years on the job.
Gov. Kate Brown made the announcement Wednesday. She said Colt Gill will serve as acting chief during the search for a permanent replacement.
Brown appointed Noor just months after taking over as governor in 2015. His resignation comes about a month after test results showed Oregon students losing ground in math and writing.
Oregon's high school graduation rate has long lagged behind the national average, and Brown said Wednesday that her priority is to make sure all students graduate with a plan for their future.
Gov. Brown's news release:
Governor Kate Brown Announces Key Education Initiatives
Colt Gill appointed Acting Deputy Superintendent of Public Instruction
(Salem, OR) — Governor Kate Brown today announced four key education initiatives to deliver on her vision for Oregon’s seamless system of education. Governor Brown has also received the resignation of Deputy Superintendent for Public Instruction Salam Noor. Governor Brown appointed Education Innovation Officer Colt Gill as Acting Deputy Superintendent for Public Instruction, effective immediately.
In a letter to state officials, Governor Brown directed the Chief Education Office, Oregon Department of Education, Early Learning System and Higher Education Coordination Commission to apply the principals of equity and accountability to new and existing initiatives.
“Our top priority is to make sure that every single student graduates from high school with a plan for their future,” Governor Brown said. “In our efforts to improve student learning and achieve critical outcomes, we must be responsive to the diverse cultures and communities reflected in our education system while ensuring that every dollar of public investment for our students is well spent.”
In her letter, Governor Brown directed the agencies to:
- Establish a unified education budget for the 2019-21 biennium that ensures more students meet key education benchmarks and improves school readiness and attendance
- Develop a new Statewide Early Learning Plan that supports an integrated early learning system that serves all Oregon communities
- Achieve aggressive high school graduation goals for all student populations, implement strategies that improve outcomes for traditionally underserved students, and further integrate drop-out prevention strategies administered by the Youth Development Division
- Expand career pathways aligned to workforce needs by collaborating with workforce, business, and industry partners
“I thank Salam for his service to the state of Oregon," Governor Brown said. "As Education Innovation Officer, Colt has cultivated strong partnerships with rural and urban school districts, communities, and students, recommending policies that will improve student success in every corner of the state. His 27 years of experience as an educator will help ensure that all students will have access to excellent teachers, wraparound services and hands-on learning opportunities they need to succeed after graduation."
Chief Education Officer Lindsey Capps will lead the recruitment effort for a permanent Deputy Superintendent, which will include extensive stakeholder outreach throughout the state in the coming weeks.
Gill, a former superintendent of the Bethel School District in Eugene, was appointed Education Innovation Officer in 2016 with the goal of advancing Governor Brown's goal of increasing the number of students completing high school. In Gill’s 10 years with the Bethel School District, he consistently improved graduation rates for historically underserved students.
Rep. Knute Buehler, R-Bend, news release:
Statement by Rep. Knute Buehler on Gov. Brown Education Proposals
“This is political panic by Governor Brown. She’s had three years to fix the funding and quality of Oregon schools and she’s failed to lead. Thousands of Oregon school kids are the victims of her indifference and indecisiveness. The revolving staff doors across the entire Brown Administration reflect poor judgement in hiring and a lack of vision that even her own staff can’t follow.
"Where Gov. Brown has failed to lead on pension reforms to fix school funding – I will lead. And where Gov. Brown has been afraid to challenge the status quo to improve education quality, graduation and attendance – I will lead. The problem for Oregon education is Gov. Kate Brown.
"The solution is a new Governor in 2018.”